Honoured teacher ‘loving and kind’ ‘firm and fair’

Staff reporter

Stuart Baker Elementary School French Immersion teacher Kelly Davis appreciates the recognition of winning the Trillium Lakelands District School Board’s Teaching Impact Award of Excellence.

Davis has been teaching for close to 30 years and says she was surprised and overwhelmed when she found out she had won.

“To me I just come to work every day. This is what I do … But to have that recognition is an honour and special. Somebody is acknowledging what I do and have been doing” she said.

The award recognizes those who establish a stimulating learning environment that motivates students to achieve positive results.

SBES colleague Stephanie Ward who led the nomination said she would not be the teacher she is without Davis’s “tremendous influence.”

Her written nomination reads: “Student engagement and achievement is at the heart of everything Kelly does. Her style of teaching is loving and kind while still being firm and fair. Year after year her students adore her. I was once invited by her Grade 3 students to a surprise party they were throwing in her honour to celebrate what a great teacher she is! She is a hard worker and puts in long hours to make sure that her students succeed.”

Other colleagues submitted supporting documents.

The summaries include an overview of what Davis does but more importantly provide insight into how she makes people feel. She is able to balance being nice with setting boundaries for students so they can be best equipped to learn.

“If Kelly were a superhero her super power would be mentorship” Ward wrote. “… I am eternally grateful for having had such a comprehensive mentorship experience in my early years of teaching. It gave me a solid stable pedagogical base and alleviated a great deal of the stress that can come with teaching.”

Ward concluded her nomination letter with: “If you were to ask me what has been the single thing to have most significantly impacted my teaching career the answer would not be a what it would be a who. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of an Impact Award than Kelly Davis.”

Like Ward Davis had a teacher who was instrumental in her teaching career.

Davis said her Grade 6 teacher who was kind and compassionate inspired her to be an educator.

Asked what she would say to her Davis said “I would say thank you. Her kindness sparked a light inside of me and a fire to pursue the same career. She obviously … had the passion and the same drive to teach students.”

Davis’s career spans a quarter of a century including 18 years at SBES. During that time she taught a couple years of English core French and French immersion.

She enjoys the opportunity to work with children and see their eyes light up with understanding.

“It’s the children. Seeing the children. Every child is special and just seeing when they’re learning I’m so thrilled that they’re learning and growing. It’s just a love of being able to give the passion that I have … when you see that they are understanding things. And it’s just a thrill for me” she said.