Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd
Marisa DiFronzo, an English teacher at Weddington High School in North Carolina, may have been surprised when the news cameras from Fox 46 in Charlotte came rolling into her classroom, but her students certainly weren’t. In fact, it was one of Ms. DiFronzo’s students who nominated her for Fox 46’s weekly Teachers Getting Results award.
Each week, students vote via Facebook for their most influential teacher, and Fox 46 then recognizes one local teacher with the Teachers Getting Results award for his/her excellence in education and dedication to teaching.
Students absolutely raved about Ms. DiFronzo both as a person and an educator, labeling her as one of those teachers everyone hopes to have next semester. One student stated Ms. DiFronzo’s class is one “everyone looks forward to.” Another student said “it’s her attitude. She makes it very approachable and she talks to us honestly and treats us like adults and how we want to be treated.”
DiFronzo says that she considers her job to be much more than just teaching her students a lesson about literature or poetry. “If I can help them become the best version of themselves . . . if I can be that source and that positive presence for my students, I’ve done my job,” she says.
This isn’t the first time, though, that she’s been recognized for her excellence as an educator. In fact, she’s already received quite a few teaching awards, including Teacher of the Year at Weddington High School and Beginning Teacher Award from University of North Carolina at Charlotte; not to mention the collage of notes and letters from previous students adorning her classroom wall.
DiFronzo’s exuberance, enthusiasm, and passion for teaching and building relationships with her students are really what shine through about her as an educator and make her an appropriate pick for this award.