Our 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Dott!
Congratulations to the Apex High School Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Dott! Mrs. Dott is an English teacher and is currently teaching AP English Language and Composition and twelfth-grade English. She has been teaching for twenty-three years, and this is her sixth year at Apex. Mrs. Dott is also the Key Club advisor and dedicates her time to serving students both inside and outside of the classroom. Her excitement for teaching, diligence, and helpful spirit have made an incredible impact on our school, so read the interview below to get to know her better!
Q: What led you to teaching?
A: I’m one of those people that kind of knew what they wanted to do from the time they were a kid, so I loved the classroom. I had a lot of positive influences when I was a kid from being in the classroom; I had a lot of great teachers, and that continued throughout my career in high school. I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian for a short minute in eighth grade, and then I took my first high school biology class and realized that was not my calling.
Q: What is your teaching philosophy or goal as a teacher?
A: My goal is to help kids become better thinkers so that they can be productive citizens. Yes, I’m passionate about English and literature, but not every kid is going to experience that, so what I want to do is give them things to think about that are going to help them outside of school but make sure they can also get those skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Q: What is your favorite part of teaching?
A: Definitely not the grading, but I would say the fact that every day is different. You never know what you’re going to have because you work with people and kids, so it’s always unique.
Q: What is the most difficult thing about being a teacher?
A: Keeping up with the balance of everything. A lot of my colleagues are not just working here at school; we’re working at home, so balancing that is a challenge. Making sure that we are giving things back appropriately and dealing with the demands of administration and what they need from us; it’s just being pulled in a lot of different directions that’s really challenging.
Q: What is your funniest memory from teaching at Apex?
A: It would have to be when one of my students was imitating Coach Thomas during a time period, and I did not know that it was not Coach Thomas at the time, so he was doing that good of an impression that it made me stop and go “Is he really over there doing that?”
Q: What advice would you give to other educators? What about to students?
A: Realize that we’re all a team and that we need each other. If you look at this job as you can do it all on your own, then that’s great, but you’ll get further by working together. To give to students, I would say keep an open mind on a lot of things. It is not easy to do what we do, and students are very good about making judgments before coming into the classroom, but always know that once you’re there, then you have reasons to make judgments. The same thing goes with the material; students might not think that it’s something they can use now, but you never know, so just keep an open mind.
Q: What has been your proudest moment as a teacher?
A: Seeing my students succeed. I love it when students come back and see me, and seeing how they do outside the classroom is truly my proud moment.
Q: For those who have never been your student or don’t know you as a teacher, what do you want them to know about you?
A: I would want people to know that my door is always open, and I’m a person who I hope you think is kind. I’ll have a smile on my face when I walk down the hallway, and hopefully that is a sign that I am not so unapproachable.
Q: How does it feel to have been selected as the Teacher of the Year?
A: It is truly a great honor. To know that your colleagues have voted for you to represent them as a great example of what we all stand for is really humbling and very surreal.
Congratulations again to Mrs. Dott on being named the Apex High School Teacher of the Year; our school is so fortunate to have a teacher like her. If you happen to see this star teacher in the halls, feel free to say hello and show some love!