Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd
Heidi Pauer, an English teacher at Bow High School in Bow, New Hampshire, has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.
This annual award, established in 1986 by then Governor John H. Sununu, is given to a teacher in New Hampshire to provide them with the time and the means to find ways to enhance the teaching experience and enrich their time in the classroom. Pauer will be able to design her own project that will contribute to the teaching profession in New Hampshire and across the country.
Over the next year, Pauer will take a break from teaching to help develop lesson plans, activities, and assessment tools in line with what she believes is an ideal classroom environment.
For Pauer, that means creativity. “Research shows that creativity activates critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. Creativity needs to be taught more in our schools to ensure that we are preparing students for the changing demands of a 21st century workforce.
More than just passionate, Pauer is immensely qualified. The 2003 recipient of the English Teacher of the Year Award from the New Hampshire Council of Teachers of English is a resident of Concord, New Hampshire. She has spent the past 18 years teaching at Bow High school and has a Master of Arts in teaching in secondary English Education from the University of New Hampshire.
Even though she is even now teaching workshops to adults on the use of creativity in the classroom, Pauer has never stopped educating herself. She is currently seeking a teaching certification in visual arts and working to finish her CAGS on Arts Leadership and Learning at Plymouth State University.
Between graduate studies and nearly two decades of experience, there are few people more qualified to be developing programs for teachers across the entire state. The tools that she creates will likely have major impacts on the education of not just her students, but of students across the country.