Madison sixth-grade teacher honored as Roanoke's standout
Amy Tlockowski was recognized for successfully harnessing older teaching methods.
By David Harrison 777-3523
A sixth-grade English teacher at James Madison Middle School is Roanoke's new teacher of the year.
Amy Tlockowski was named the city's top educator during a banquet Monday night at Jefferson Center. She goes on to compete for the regional teacher of the year prize.
Last year's winner, Stephanie Doyle, was eventually named the state's teacher of the year.
Tlockowski was recognized for using teaching methods that were once considered antiquated but that have been making a quiet comeback in recent years. For instance, she has her students memorize poems, then recite them, a practice that can lead to improved reading comprehension.
"By the end of the week, they own the poem," she said. "We've been doing this for months now."
Tlockowski also uses so-called "thinking maps," which help students differentiate between types of writing.
"It helps with comprehension," she said.
Tlockowski described her award as "an absolute honor," and praised district administrators and Superintendent Rita Bishop for their efforts to turn around city schools.
"I've been very proud of being a Roanoke city teacher for the nine years that I've been here," she said. "And I've been wooed by other counties, but I believe that this is where I belong."
Madison Principal Debra Deitrich said Tlockowski has "a rare ability to make school come to life for her students."
"Her English lessons are engaging and inspiring in a way that I have not seen in many classrooms throughout my career," she said.
Her students may call her Mrs. Tlockowski, but to us here in bloggerville...she's our own Buddha_girl....and I'm so fecking proud of her and to know her I could just burst...She's the proud Mama of the adorable little boy that does the 'touchdown' on my winning Cowboys posts...He calls me Gramdma Jackie...he owns my heart....go by and tell her what a great job she did and does...every day...