Antioch teacher engages students with classroom projects


Second-grade teacher Debra Walker, Antioch Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year, stands beside a display of her class’ art project featuring construction paper cutouts of flower vases.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Monday, April 22, 2013 at 07:41 PM.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series on north Okaloosa Teachers of the Year.

CRESTVIEW — "I'm not a worksheet teacher, where I just copy off worksheets and just have students work on them all day," Antioch Elementary School teacher Debra Walker said. "I try to get them interested in the world."

The second-grade teacher often turns to mixed media to facilitate student engagement. Students have created booklets on various topics and used magnets to portray hurricane safety.

"She works diligently to find any way possible to help her children learn," principal Wanda Avery said. "She also spends a lot of her own money in the classroom."

Walker also gives plenty of spare time to prepare lesson plans, grade papers or research effective teaching methods. However, that’s true of all teachers who work well after the final school bell rings at 3:25 p.m., she said.

"Most of our cars are still here into the later part of the afternoon," she said. "People don't realize that our jobs don't end when the children leave."

Her spirit of solidarity precludes her from accepting special recognition. Upon learning that colleagues named her Teacher of the Year, Walker took a humble approach.

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