Aragon Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade teacher Andrea Barnes has been named the Secondary Educator of the Year by the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE).
Barnes teaches READ 180 at Aragon—a program that accelerates students’ reading comprehension. Her READ 180 students are encouraged to stand upon a floor tile facing a mirror on the wall, and state what they hope, believe, dream and want to achieve.
“When I was nominated and again when I became a finalist for the ATPE Teacher of the Year, I stood on the classroom tile in front of my travelers (students) and I said, ‘I have achieved this goal, and now I dream of winning ATPE Secondary Teacher of the Year.”
Barnes took the tile with her to Austin, placing it beneath her feet during the oral interviews. When she was announced as the winner, she brought it on stage and stood upon it as she accepted the award.
“I stood on the tile and thought of all of my students that had stood on this very tile stating their hopes, dreams, beliefs and what they wanted to achieve. It truly was a dream come true,” Barnes says. “My former student wrote, ‘I will achieve my dreams because you just taught me that I will get what I want if I set it on my mind.’”
Nearly 800 people celebrated the achievements of public school educators at the banquet, where awards were presented to educators in administrator, associate, elementary, and secondary teacher and special services categories.
“I think everyone should live their daily lives with hope, believing, dreaming ,and striving to achieve their goals and be their best. I feel like I live my life in this way and that is why it was a great honor to be the ATPE Secondary Teacher of the Year,” Barnes adds.