Every year Atlanta Public Schools honors the three best teachers in the district with a Teacher of the Year award: one from elementary school, one from middle school, and one form high school. The three teachers then go on to compete against each other for the top, district-wide Teacher of the Year honor.
Public Broadcasting Atlanta’s American Graduate program also chooses special Atlanta Schools teachers to honor with its Champion Award and this year one of those teachers happens to be Carver High School of the Arts drama teacher and APS High School Teacher of the Year Jayongela Wilder.
There is nothing more rewarding then seeing a kid that you taught graduate from college
One of the reason Wilder was chosen?
“If you walked into my classroom on a typical afternoon, you would definitely see some sort of writing piece. You would definitely see students acting on stage and you would see kids having a good time and having fun,” she explained to PBA 30 one recent afternoon.
Wilder’s dynamic and energetic teaching style keeps students interested and engaged.
And more and more educators now understand that when children have fun at school, not only do they want to go to school, but they want to learn, too.
“We’ve got to get kids having fun in the classroom,” Wilder said.
Wilder delivers on that mission, too. It’s one of the reason APS officials selected her for one of the top honors an educator can receive.
“I am Teacher of the Year for High School and I am honored and humbled all at the same time. It’s just such a wonderful, wonderful opportunity,” she said.
Teaching is a higher calling for many teachers. And so it is, too, with Wilder.
Wilder even got a little choked up when asked why she teaches. She explained it this way.
“I do it because I love it and when you look down the road for five, six years later, there is nothing more rewarding then seeing a kid that you taught graduate from college. It is definitely the most amazing part of being a teacher.”
“This is something I would have never asked for.”
PBA's Atlanta Champions