Doing little things well makes for excellent teacher

HUMBOLDT — It’s Leah Hergott’s devotion to doing the small but important things exceptionally well every day that make her an excellent teacher, her boss told a room filled with her peers.

“I can't think of a more deserving candidate for the Horizon teaching excellence award than her,” said Clayton Parobec, Humboldt Public School’s principal, at the award presentation during the division's celebration day on Aug. 28.

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“It starts with her extreme high standard of teaching practice and her passion for teaching that has not wavered since the first day I met her.”

Parobec said that Hergott doesn’t claim to be a teaching expert, but consistently she does everything that she can for the students in her classroom. She doesn't claim to be a sports expert, but she’s coached cross country, helping with badminton, track and field. She doesn't claim to be proficient in music or drama, but she’s helping out with the Christmas concert.

“When changes come down from the [education] ministry, or Horizon’s central office, she embraces them in a positive and professional way and that rubs off on everybody else in our school.”

When literacy experts came to Humboldt Public, it was Hergott that was one of the first adopters of their suggestions, which, Parobec said, resulted in her students seeing outstanding reading growth each year.

The principal said he witnessed Hergott do one of those small but important things when she phoned for his son, who’s going into Hergott’s Grade 3 class this year, a day before the award presentation to introduce herself.

“I didn't know she did it. She does it every year. It's those small things that Leah does so well that makes her so special and deserving of this award today.”

Parobec admitted that wasn’t something he did when he was a teacher.

Hergott said receiving the award was special to her because teaching is literally the only career she’s ever wanted to do.”

“But none of us in this room do the important jobs that we do in Horizon for an award,” she said. “All of us collectively try our very best to work towards a common goal and that is so that our students can grow up to be happy, healthy, strong, caring members of our society.”

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