Each year, the OCS Teacher of the Year Comittee selects the district's teacher of the year. This committee includes the previous year's OCS Teacher of the Year, Principal and Assistant Principal of the year, a community member and other district staff. The committee reviews portfolios of the educators selected as school-level teachrs of the year, selects 10 semi-finalists for interviews, narrows that to five finalists for classroom observations, and from this group, names the OCS Teacher of the Year.
On Tuesday, September 1, Queens Creek Elementary School Musica Teacher, Dr. Zadda Bazzy, was named the 2020-2021 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Onslow County SChools Teacher of the Year!
Dr. Bazzy spent 19 years in education in Manatee County, Florida, before joining the staff at Queens Creek Elementary in 2017.
When it comes to teaching, Dr. Bazzy said she has found a student-centered approach is the best way to ensure students feel empowered to take charge of their own learning. In her teacher of the year portfolio, she said, "when teachers choose to relinquish their position as the 'sage on the stage' and transition to a 'guide on the side,' student engagement and higher order thinking increase dramatically."
One of the biggest challenges in her career, Dr. Bazzy observed, was the transition to virtual instruction in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, she says she chooses to see obstacles as opportunities.
"One can find unexpected blessings in these unprecedented times," she said. "My students have developed digital literacy and digital citizenship skills, and I personally have grown as an educator more in the last few months than I have in the last several years."
Next, Dr. Bazzy will go on to compete at the regional level. Winners at the regional level will compete for North Carolina Teacher of the Year.