Indiana Teacher of the Year shares how teachers helped shape her life, and her career in education
One of America’s best teachers has a unique story to share and students within the School of Education got to hear it firsthand.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
One of America's best teachers has a unique story to share and students within the School of Education got to hear it firsthand. Indiana Teacher of the Year, Kathy Nimmer, was diagnosed in the second grade with a rare ocular condition that would eventually claim her eyesight. She insists it was her teachers who employed caring, innovative, and out-of-the-box teaching methods to show her that she could be successful in life, even as she was losing her vision.
The inspirational presentation was brought to the Indiana University School of Education by the INSPIRE Living-Learning Center. Nimmer spoke to the group of students and Fulbright teachers on Friday, October 23. She shared stories about teachers who made a lasting impact on her life, how she has incorporated those experiences in her own teaching career, and encouraged audience members to do the same.
Nimmer often refers to a quote from Mother Teresa when talking about the lasting imprint that we leave on one another. "Mother Teresa said, 'We belong to each other.' Therefore we owe each other the best of ourselves," said Nimmer. "It's not about vision. It's about connecting with students at the heart level, caring about them as people." She says good teaching happens with a high level of passion and energy while always looking for new ways to engage the individual student.
When Kathy Nimmer is not busy motivating her English and Creative Writing students at William Henry Harrison High School in West Lafayette, she appears as a motivational speaker and authors books. In addition to being named the 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year, Nimmer is also a finalist for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, she was named a "Woman of Distinction" by the YWCA, and received Indiana's highest civilian honor, the "Sagamore of the Wabash."