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In Joan’s Classroom Students Live the Lesson

Posted on May 21st, 2012

2012 EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD RECIPIENT, JOAN WAITE
Forest City Adventist School | Florida Conference
7th & 8th Grade

Joan Waite brings her lessons to life at Forest City Adventist School (FCAS) with an emersion approach to teaching. During their study of the Civil War, students draw lots to be the North or South. After some research, students make flags for their side, create canteens and cooking equipment, and set up an outdoor camp. Battles have been reenacted, prisoners taken, and siblings and best friends “ripped apart” by the mock Civil War.

When studying the medieval time period, students built miniature castles with flags that an opposing castle had to shoot down with frozen peas. The whole school was invited to watch and cheer as the battle between castles took place.

Waite helps her 7th and 8th grade students discover their gifts and encourages them to be leaders around school. Each week her students visit the kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms for “reading buddy sessions.” After studying the sanctuary, her students are prepared to lead a week of prayer for the younger students. And when her students go to academy, they are often tutors for the 9th graders in math, reading and Bible.

Waite helps her students realize their full potential. “She has a skilled eye to uncover raw talent and turn it into a shining diamond for God,” said Melanie Paschal, FCAS colleague.

On a number of occasions Waite has been asked her to change grade levels. “Ms. Waite has pleasantly packed up her teaching supplies and moved over a few rooms, performing as a skilled teacher in every grade level,” Dr. Sandy Doran, Florida Conference superintendent.

Waite serves as a mentor to new teachers and leads out in monthly teacher in-services. Students and parents have requested Bible studies as a direct result of Waite’s impact. Furthermore, she invited her students to attend evangelistic meetings at her church and three students were baptized as a result!

“I praise God that he has given me the opportunity to work for 27 years in this redemptive field as an educator,” Waite said.

Award presentation was Sunday, May 20, 2012, at Forest City Adventist School.

Alumni Awards Foundation volunteer, Andy McDonald, presented the award to Joan Waite.

This award was sponsored by Union College. AAF would like to thank Union for partnering in this year’s Excellence in Teaching Awards.

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