Kerry Miller, a kindergarten teacher at Errol Road Public School, has won a certificate of achievement for outstanding teaching practices from the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Miller has taught for 17 years, primarily at Errol Road, and began teaching senior and junior kindergarten five years ago.
A parent with three children who were each taught kindergarten by Miller, nominated her for the national award, which honors exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines.
“I couldn’t really believe it when I heard,” said Miller. “I was in shock a little bit because I wasn’t sure I felt worthy. I work with so many colleagues who are fantastic teachers.”
A large part of being a good teacher is being surrounded by others who are really great at it, she said.
In making the announcement, the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence said Miller ensures children entering the school system encounter “this loving and creative teacher who makes sure they find their place and learn to think clearly and act logically.”
“It’s important to me to establish positive relationships with the parents and the kids,” she said. “From the first day, I try to be genuine with parents, honest, friendly and open.”
For her students, Miller makes it a priority to teach them how to get along appropriately.
“I tell them how to behave and give them words to use so they know what they should do.”
When the school board introduced a pilot project at Errol Road School called Positive Behaviour Support, Miller volunteered to be on the team that helps teachers speak to kids effectively, to emphasize the positive, not the negative.
The Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence are handed out annually.
This year, 15 were recognized in Ontario, including Miller. She will receive $1,000 prize money to be spent on professional development, teaching aids or resource material of her choice.