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Old McMicky's Farm "Teachers ROCK"

A $20,000 All-Inclusive Dream Wedding Gift to a local teacher in the Tampa Bay Area, sponsored by Old McMicky's Farm and generous Bay Area Businesses.

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Linzy Reinders & Zachary Yindra
My School: Osceola Middle and Plato Academy
My County: Pinellas
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
Both of us enjoy teaching and interacting with the younger generation on a daily basis. We get to see them grow, learn and become the future. Linzy loves building relationships with each student and getting to know them for more than just their academic persona. It is that bond that makes teaching fun and worthwhile. Getting to see their progress in academics is important, but getting to see them grow up and mature is what I love most. Zach loves teaching middle school because students at that age are just beginning to learn who they are as a person. During this sensitive time it's important to have a compassionate role model who genuinely cares for each child's current and future well-being. Not all students have someone to help them discover who they are in a positive manner and that makes a teacher's role that much more important. He also enjoys teaching middle school because the students are easy to relate to and forge bonds. It's Zach's belief that teaching is more effective when you have a positive bond with your students. For these reasons, and many more, we love being teachers.
Total Votes:
Amanda McGrath & Luke Klammer
My School: Deer Park Elementary
My County: Pasco
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
What I love most about teaching is being able to cultivate a love of learning and inspire others to share in the process. Teaching students with special needs inspires me in return. Their resilience and determination is contagious. Each day brings something new. We learn together. I can't imagine a more rewarding career than one where I'm able to contribute to someone's growth and development every day!
Total Votes:
Rachel Bennett & Matthew Moffitt
My School: McKitrick Elementary School
My County: Hillsborough
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
Honestly, I got into teaching to become a P.E. teacher. I loved the idea that I would get to play sports and teacher children about a healthy lifestyle (shorts and a t-shirt to school everyday wasn't a bad gig either). During my internships in college, I absolutely fell in love with the classroom teaching experience. I loved being able to connect with students more personally, getting to know their strengths and weaknesses, help them overcome and turn their weaknesses into strengths, and watch students realize that learning can be fun and they can achieve anything as long as they are willing to work at it! Being able to make a positive impact on students lives and to create life long learners is such a cool thing for teachers to have the power to do! I love being able to wake up daily loving my job and knowing that I can be a positive influence on a young persons' life! It's a true blessing!
Total Votes:
Kayla Hencke & Chris Depin
My School: Bexley Elementary School
My County: Pasco
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
My all time favorite part about teaching would have to be the 'ah-ha' moments that students have when they finally understand something they've been struggling with.
Total Votes:
Heather Wiseman & Billy Lanier Jr.
My School: East Lake High School
My County: Pinellas
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
My favorite part of being a teacher is watching students achieve their potential. The moment in which they start believing what I have always known about them is almost indescribable. I know that in this line of work, we are doing so much more than teaching math or reading, we are teaching the next generation how to treat each other, themselves, and our planet. I take this responsibility very seriously. Overall, I love the connections we get to make everyday with students. We are their cheerleader, surrogate parent, confidant, nurse, you name it, in addition to being their teacher. As a product of Pinellas County Schools, I am incredibly honored that I get to walk the well-worn path of all the outstanding educators before me. The most important part is building relationships and preparing them for their future. Teaching students that valuable skills of critical reading and the importance of being able to articulate themselves in writing will serve them well in the future. In AVID, I enjoy supporting students with college and career exploration over their entire high school career (and in many cases beyond). I am lucky enough to say I love my job.
Total Votes:
Kaylan Figueroa & Will Burnham
My School: Riverhills Elementary Magnet
My County: Hillsborough
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
My first two years of teaching has come with incredible challenges that allowed me to prove to myself how much of an impact I can have, and how much I love this profession. I started in a school that threw me completely out of my comfort zone, at a high poverty, Title 1 school where 97% of the students qualify for free school lunch. My daily interactions with my students required every bit of my intellectual and emotional attention. These are kids that don't only need a teacher, but a lot of times a role model, and someone that cares. We had to break down barriers they had built up before we could break open a textbook. After a year of incredible growth for me and my 4th graders, I transitioned to a 5th grade class at a magnet school this year. This has presented a whole new list of challenges, as the material is advanced and all of my students are taller than me! What I love about teaching is inheriting a classroom full of strangers, and creating a community of trust, excitement, and lots of learning. And the funny thing is, they are teaching me just as much.
Total Votes:
Andii Hunt & Luis Perez
My School: Robles Elementary School
My County: Hillsborough
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
Three Things I Love About Teaching: 1. I have been a teacher for over 13 years in Title One schools, and I love providing experiences for students that they would not normally have an opportunity to enjoy. For example, most of my students have never been camping before, in fact, I had never been camping, so I borrowed a tent, had it set up outside and after learning about camping, my students became little campers! 2. I love teaching my students how to set goals and then give them the tools to achieve them...oh their faces when they achieve them!!! 3. I love going grocery shopping or to the library and hearing 'Ms. Hunt!' Running into the smiling faces of my current students or the parents or grown up students from prior years. I love hearing their stories of how they remember that one special lesson or how I helped them achieve that one goal so many years ago! It reminds me that what I do does matter and that I do make a difference!
Total Votes:
Deanna Houmard & Robert Ritch
My School: Educational Alternative Services/Juvenile Detention Center
My County: Pinellas
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
As a Pinellas County teacher at the Juvenile Detention Center, I have a very challenging job. The majority of our students do not attend school or are behind in their credits. People say these kids are criminals and don't deserve anything good, I disagree. I love when I can get a student excited about doing math. I celebrate small successes to try to get students motivated. Teachers have 4 classrooms and 2 computer labs that we travel around to inside the facility, all which are armed with guards . The students range from age 9-19. I love when I can connect with a student and make them feel good about themselves. I believe these students need to feel success no matter how small, so they continue to work. I get excited about teaching and facing my challenges each day. If I know that I can make a difference with a student then I know I am doing my job and that's what I love. If a student has someone that believes in them and can feel good about themselves and realize their potential, I feel they may be less likely to re-offend and more likely to return to school.
Total Votes:
Christeene Brinkley & Elizabeth Baker
My School: Knights Elementary School
My County: Hillsborough
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
What I love most about teaching is the meaningful connections that I am able to make with my students. Each student has a story to tell; they are much more than a body in a chair or a grade on a paper. I have guided my students through the hardships of home life, mental health concerns, and pinpointing the root cause of academic struggles. By thoroughly getting to know my students and developing trust, I can embrace their diversity and unlock hidden potential to challenge them to grow in confidence and promote a culture of life-long learning. Each day I look forward to connecting with my students as a nurturer, a healer, and a teacher of all things.
Total Votes:
Martinique Moron & Miles Harris
My School: Pepin Academies
My County: Hillsborough
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
I previously had a career in business that was successful but left me feeling empty. Around the time I was considering other options, a friend who was a college professor asked if I would consider teaching at a charter school he helped develop. That school was Pepin Academy; I tried it and fell in love with the job. In the 17 years since I began teaching, there has never been a day that goes by in which I feel unaccomplished. The rewards of working with my students far outweigh any stress that comes with being a special education teacher. I have been able to develop close, meaningful relationships with parents and students and work alongside amazing colleagues. I am able to share my knowledge with young people and contribute to their education. Most of all, I get to be an active part in helping our students realize they have the ability to succeed. My students have struggled with learning difficulties their entire lives, making this phenomenon quite dramatic: when that spark lights up inside them, its like watching magic happen.
Total Votes:
Kristin Pratt & Alexander Barron
My School: Martinez Middle School
My County: Hillsborough
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
What I love most about being a teacher is the impact I'm able to make that goes beyond the curriculum. I love helping the students learn and get involved in conversations about the content; I love seeing their educational growth and success. However, it means so much more to me to be a positive influence for them and to teach them life lessons too. The middle school age can be a period of extreme ups and downs with happiness, sadness, confusion, and everything in between, and I love being able to provide support as someone they can count on.
Total Votes:
Jourdan Larison & Tyler Rogers
My School: Seminole Middle/ Morgan Fitzgerald Middle
My County: Pinellas
What I LOVE about being a teacher...
Tyler and I love working with children and helping others. Tyler comes from a family of teachers and public servants and wanted to continue the tradition. Our joy in working with children continues at Camp Boggy Creek, a place where we volunteer over our summers. The camp is for children with different illnesses and revolves around creating fun for the campers. It contains all of the great parts of teaching. Jourdan also coaches young children in a community soccer league. We both love the everyday challenges that teaching brings and enjoy how it keeps us creative and adaptive. We also love that we can collaborate on lessons and share ideas as we both teach middle school language arts. At the end of the day, we both agree that there is nothing better than getting a note or a 'thank you' from a student for caring for them and helping them succeed.
Total Votes:
Old McMicky’s Farm wishes to extend a special thank you to the generous “Teachers ROCK” Vendor Partners.