Diane Brode, Third Grade Teacher at Mispillion Elementary School, was named the Terrapins’ 2014 Teacher of the Year. She has been with the district since 2003 where she began her teaching career at Lulu Ross Elementary School.
Attending the University of Delaware Professional Development School in Milford, Ms. Brode earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education. Student teaching at Lulu Ross Elementary, Banneker Elementary and the Milford Middle School, she earned her Master’s Degree in Literacy from Wilmington University. Teaching children grades two through four at Lulu Ross Elementary from 2003 to 2011, Brode moved to the newly constructed Mispillion Elementary in 2011 where she was able to decide on teaching third grade.
“I enjoy this age, the kids are independent enough where you can do many activities and they still have a love of learning,” commented Brode. “The kids have a desire to learn and when they get it they are so excited.”
Her third grade class studies a variety of subjects each day including reading, writing, math, science and social studies. Though it can be a difficult task at times to make sure that each student is learning every subject congruently, each student is assisted by their own Independent Education Plan.
“They want to learn and they enjoy when I push them a little further than they already are,” commented Brode. “Whatever that extra step is for them individually.”
In addition to scholarship, Ms. Brode believes that her students’ education should consist of learning social responsibility. Her students learn how to think of others and help in their own communities outside of the classroom. Last February Brode started a campaign for students in the Mispillion school, among first to fifth graders, to collectively raise money and awareness of breast cancer while encouraging them to help out their fellow citizens. Raising a total of $ 929.25, Ms. Brode and all the staff of Mispillion Elementary had something to be proud about.
Brode states that many of these community-minded activities have helped to shape the way her students feel about helping others and have made them more appreciative of what they have. Her favorite part of her teaching profession is simply watching her third graders grow into the next generation of adults that will influence the community.
“In addition to academics I want my students to be good citizens, it is important for them to understand that what they are doing can change their community,” commented Brode. “The choices they make now can affect our community in later years.”
Brode will now compete at the district level, against her peers in the Milford School District, where the winner of that competition will face distinguished teachers from across the state of Delaware.