Congratulations to Patricia Wehran and Gregory Hudak for Winning the Governor’s Teacher Award 2013-2014!
Patricia Wehran on Education:“It is an absolute honor to receive the 2013-14 Governor’s Teacher Award from the students at Indian Hills. Teaching is a commitment that I take very seriously. My mission as a teacher is to feel the confidence that I can make a difference in a child’s life. I motivate students to have a positive attitude about learning by continuously searching for strategies that can be successful in my classroom. Above all, I like to offer each student that I encounter the opportunity to start with “a clean slate”. I take time to know the whole child: his or her background, interest, learning styles and motivational needs. I encourage children to find their strong points and help them understand that they can overcome any challenge.”
Gregory Hudak on Education:“Ultimately I think that teaching means helping others learn how to achieve their potential. The value of recognizing and working on maximizing my potential was instilled in me by the best teachers I ever had, mom and dad, and by the many outstanding elementary school teachers that I had as a child. It was reinforced later on when I realized that my high school teachers and coaches were trying to get the same thing out of me….work hard to be the best Greg that I could be. I think it is human nature to fall back into a comfort zone and rely on what we know and do well, or worse, solely rely only on the successes of others. The problem is that this can lead to apathy. Immediate, easy access to information and explanations and the reliance on technologies developed by others can foster the flawed expectation that someday, miraculously, we will all get better, become smarter, get a job, succeed. I am sure all of us see this in the classroom. Fact is, you can’t outsource learning! My experiences at Ramapo have run the gamut. I’ve witnessed and experienced quite a bit. Perhaps someday I’ll write a book! On a more serious note, I am fortunate to work in the Science Department and I cant imagine a more collegial group of friends and professionals. I may be a bit biased, but it really is the best department! As a teacher, I feel it is my job to help students learn to simultaneously maximize what they do well and, more importantly, work on what they aren’t as good at. While coaching, I push my players to identify strengths and weaknesses and encourage incremental improvement. Most of us don’t wake up as stellar athletes or brilliant authors overnight. Nor do we intuitively know how to successfully run a business. Success is always a work in progress. It’s the teacher’s job to guide students on that journey to become aware of their potential and instill in them that it is their responsibility to establish the appropriate habits to achieve that potential.”