Mason Teacher Surprised with "Super Teacher" Award
POSTED: 10:54 a.m. EDT, May 11, 2009
By: FCCPS Communications
A math teacher with Joel Block’s credentials knows the odds of winning the Virginia Lottery Super Teacher Award are slim. But this morning, Block became one of eight teachers selected from more than 1,200 nominees to receive the award.
“I’m speechless,” Block said during the surprise presentation in the school auditorium.
Block was nominated by parent Cecily Shea, who wrote the winning essay describing his commitment to helping George Mason High School students and their parents understand mathematics.
“Block understands that students can go into a slump during third quarter,” Shea wrote. “He deals with it head on with “RoPaSci." Students may remain potential members of his society (based on the rock/paper/scissors game) as long as they turn in every single homework assignment during third quarter and maintain their grade. Those who do are eligible to be a part of the RoPaSci competition. The winner of this Rock/Paper/Scissors game wins a ride home in a limo with a stop at the winner’s favorite fast food restaurant.”
Shea also noted Block’s efforts to ensure students have homework support at home by offering a course called Algebra for Parents, and she explained the unique lesson plan he leaves for substitute teachers in his class.
“If he knows in advance that he will be absent, he videotapes himself teaching the class and leaves the corresponding handouts for the substitute so that the day is not a lost instructional day,” Shea wrote.
As a Super Teacher winner, Block was presented with a $2,000 check from the Virginia Lottery. He also received a $2,000 classroom credit from The Supply Room Companies to purchase materials for his classroom.
A six-person panel of Virginia educators and community leaders selected the winners. The eight winners, all of whom are K-12 public school teachers in Virginia, represent one of eight geographic regions of the state.
Joel Block (2nd from left) is presented with a $2000 cash prize from the Virginia Lottery and a $2000 gift certificate from The Supply Room Companies.
With Block (l to r) are James Dyke, former VA Education Secretary, Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and Pat Barber, president of The Supply Room Companies.