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English teacher receives Early Career Scholarship Award

10th+Grader+Jiwoo+Kim+is+talking+to+Mr.+Hodges+about+her+English+class+assignments.+She+knew+that+Mr.+Hodges+is+always+there+for+his+students%27+needs.
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English teacher receives Early Career Scholarship Award

10th Grader Jiwoo Kim is talking to Mr. Hodges about her English class assignments. She knew that Mr. Hodges is always there for his students' needs.

10th Grader Jiwoo Kim is talking to Mr. Hodges about her English class assignments. She knew that Mr. Hodges is always there for his students' needs.

10th Grader Jiwoo Kim is talking to Mr. Hodges about her English class assignments. She knew that Mr. Hodges is always there for his students' needs.

10th Grader Jiwoo Kim is talking to Mr. Hodges about her English class assignments. She knew that Mr. Hodges is always there for his students' needs.

Raya Hasan, Contributing Writer

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English teacher Mr. Hodges received the Early Career Scholarship Award at the annual conference of the New York State English Council (NYSEC) in Albany, on October 18, 2018. The Early Career Scholarship Award is presented to up to five new teachers who have been teaching for five or fewer years.

According to the NYSEC Awards Program, in order to be nominated, they need to be nominated by an NYSEC member, excel in content delivery, use innovative teaching strategies, and have served the school or district as an emerging leader.

“It completely took me by surprise,” said Mr. Hodges. “I was honored, but at the same time felt like an idiot just by thinking of all the things I don’t do right. My teaching practice is a long way than perfect.”

The scholarship pays for the full NYSEC conference registration the following year. According to the program, the scholarship recipients will participate in NYSEC during the upcoming years, like presenting at the conference, writing an NYSEC publication, or serving on the Executive Board.

Excellent teachers are more than just a teacher: they are lifelong learners. They continue to add to their knowledge. Excellent teachers can learn both more about their students and about the subject they teach.

“I think an excellent teacher is always looking to grow. They’re looking to be responsive to their student’s needs,” said Ms. Bulla, the English department chair.

“Mr. Hodge’s intelligence and passion for language have translated into lessons that are intense and representative of a very difficult balance of high-level material and scaffolding that enables students to successfully access complex concepts,” said Ms. Bulla in a statement on the district’s website.

“He teaches you in a way like you’re having a conversation,” said Vicky Wong, a freshman in Mr. Hodges English 9R class. “It’s not like he’s cramming information into you.”

Mr. Hodges said that he has always wanted to be a teacher. He said he’s “born to do it.”

He said he always loved stories and he always loved people, but most of all, he loves learning. All his passion to create a better future comes from his past experiences.

“The past is kindling for the fire’s future,” said Mr. Hodges.

Mr. Hodges started teaching in September of 2015 at MWHS. In his first year, he said he loved it, but that he did not sleep. It was the most challenging experience of his life, but every year, he felt better.

“Every year, I feel closer with my students, and my classroom feels more like family,” said Mr. Hodges. “Maybe it’s because I really believe that there’s magic. I believe in miracles, and that everything we do is a miraculous miracle.”

“He is knowledgeable and committed to help students find their own voice,” said Ms. Bulla.

English 9R is one of his favorite group of classes. Mr. Hodges said the stories they read in those classes are full of magic, and that everyone can feel the magic.

“Stories are our dreams and fears in words,” said Mr. Hodges. 

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English teacher receives Early Career Scholarship Award