Author and Illustrator of Teach Me the Earth's Atmosphere, Teach Me the Solar System, Teach Me the Faces of the Moon , and Teach Me the Water Cycle and Weather. 2016-Present Teacher Mentor 2016 Science Department Professional Development 2014 District National Board Awareness 2011-Present Student Mentor Advisor 2010 Collaboration Professional Development 2013-Present Grade level chairperson 2016-Science Department Chairperson
My teaching philosophy is centered on the belief that all students deserve quality effective teaching that meets their individual needs, and they can learn when they are accepted for who they are and where they are in their educational journey. My belief is a reflection of what my parents wanted for their children and of what I would want for my own children as students in any classroom. What makes me an outstanding teacher is my teaching style. It is best described as one that incorporates a diversity of teaching techniques- fun, energetic, and fair. I truly believe that learning takes place in a positive and safe environment filled with fascinating lessons, high expectations, and strategies that address each child’s learning styles. I treat all of my students equally and recognize their differences and uniqueness. That helps me adjust my practices based on observations, knowledge of my students’ interests, abilities, family circumstances, and peer relationships. To learn science, most students require hands-on minds-on learning because learning begins when a student is fully engaged in the process, makes personal connections with the information taught, and applies the information to a variety of new experiences. In order to become an effective educator, I had to understand the importance of using instructional strategies that appropriately address the different learning styles and needs of my students. I begin my lessons by knowing who my students are and where they are academically. Next, I use my standards to decide what they need to know and in what order they need it. This helps me set high worthwhile goals for my students. This is when I implement instructional strategies to attain those goals. I evaluate my students based on those goals and the instructional strategies I put in place. Afterwards, I reflect on each students learning and the effectiveness of my instructional approach. This allows me to set new goals that are appropriate for my students. I believe my classroom environment is conducive to learning because I provide differentiated learning opportunities and activities that meet my students’ needs daily, I know my standards and subject content, strive to set high expectations, my students are provided with assistance and alternatives throughout the lessons, my students are actively engaged in the learning process, they make connections to their personal experiences, and I assess them in a variety of ways to check for progress and misconceptions. My reward in teaching, is knowing that I have provided my students with the best education, them applying what they have learned to their everyday lives, the smiles on their faces as they are engaged in their lessons, and me knowing that I have met their individual needs.
2017 STAR Teacher 2017 NAAACP Teacher of the Year 2016-2017 District Teacher of the Year 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year 2014 National Board Certified Early Childhood Generalist
2006-2008 Liberty University/ Lynchburg, VA; Principal and Leadership, Educational Specialist Degree 2003-2005 South Carolina State University/ Orangeburg, SC; Early Childhood, Masters of Arts in Teaching Degree 1999-2003 South Carolina State University/ Orangeburg, SC; Family Consumer Science/Child Development, Bachelor of Science Degree
My name is Tamika Fordham and I am honored and humbled that I have been selected for District Teacher of the Year for Calhoun County Public Schools. I attended South Carolina State University and earned my Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences in 2003 and my Masters of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood in 2005. I also attended Liberty University and received my Educational Specialist Degree in Principals and Leadership in 2008. I served in the United States Army Reserve throughout my college years and most of my teaching years. I became a highly qualified early childhood generalist teacher when I earned my National Board Certification in 2014. My first teaching job was at Guinyard Elementary School. I taught first grade from 2006-2008. I began teaching third grade at St. Matthews K8 in 2009 until 2012. I currently teach fourth grade science. While teaching fourth grade, I served as the varsity volleyball coach for three years. I took a break from all after school activities in 2014 to use that afternoon time to teach my three years old son and spend quality time with my family. I have been the grade level chairperson for fourth grade for four years and the science fair and science festival chairperson for three years. I am currently a School Improvement Council member, a member of the curriculum team and the student improvement team, a mentor for our girls’ group at SMK8 School, a member of the Palmetto Teachers Association, and South Carolina Education Association. My belief is a reflection of what my parents wanted for their children and of what I would want for my own children as students in a classroom. My teaching style is best described as one that incorporates a diversity of teaching techniques, fun, energetic, and fair. I truly believe that learning takes place in a positive and safe environment filled with fascinating lessons, high expectations, and strategies that address each child’s learning style. I am proud to teach in an environment where I can learn from the experiences and wisdom of my colleagues. Their willingness to collaborate and their encouragement motivates me to create a magical learning experience for my students every day. I want to express my gratitude to my praying family, especially my mother, my awesome St. Matthews K-8 family, and Calhoun County District Staff for believing in me and allowing me to represent our district. When my students, colleagues, and parents think of me, I would hope they say that my greatest contribution to education is my passion for inspiring my students to have fun while learning and to always do their best.