Solano selected as Teacher of the YearPublished 11:41pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013
In her 21 years in education, Tracy Solano has taught second through fifth grade. But third grade seems to be where her heart is.
“I think I found my home. I love my children, being the person they know they can come to for help,” she said. “I think it’s the age group. They’re not as needy. They want to branch out more, be independent. But still need a hug and still want you to put a Band Aid on their boo boos.”
Solano has been at John Tayloe Elementary School for 10 years. She was recently awarded Beaufort County Schools’ Teacher of the Year.
Solano said she was flattered that her peers at school had picked her and surprised that she was selected to represent the district.
“There’s so many wonderful educators here,” she said.
Part of the process was portfolio about her background, philosophy on teaching. Solano has chosen a platform about teachers working as teams. She said teaching can be a bit isolating and would like to see that change.
“You’re in your classroom, with your students,” she said. “I believe in building professional groups.”
She described Tayloe as a close-nit group who often come together as a family when someone needs the support. Her support system also includes her husband, Joe, and daughter, Zoey.
The classroom has changed quite a bit in Solano’s career. The classroom size has shrunk and a lot of technology has been added.
“It is intimidating, but it’s also a real positive because the children have been plugged in since the day they were born,” she said. “It adds a little sparkle. It adds a little excitement to any lesson.”
Solano’s students are so familiar with the technology they often end up teaching her a few things.
Solano will be traveling to Edmonton to interview with the regional panel. If she is selected to represent the region, she will move on to the state-level competition and more interviews.
Solano has asked past teachers of the year about the types of questions she should prepare for, but does not want help with the answers.
“I’m really kind of trying to approach it from my point of view,” she said. “I want it to be a true picture of me.”