Kristy Fischer, a second grade teacher at Luxmanor Elementary School, has been selected as this year’s Agnes Meyer Teacher of the Year by The Washington Post. The Agnes Meyer award is presented annually to one teacher from each Washington metropolitan area school district. The winners will be honored by the Post at a May 1 reception.
A 2001 University of Maryland, College Park, graduate, Fischer is working on her master’s in education at Johns Hopkins University. She began her teaching career at Summit Hall Elementary School in 2001 and has been at Luxmanor since 2002.
Although only in her fifth year of teaching, Fischer is “a teacher who exemplifies the kind of teacher we all hope our children will experience during their schooling,” says Luxmanor Principal Michael Bayewitz. “She excels in motivating and educating her students and has a proven record of inspiring and ensuring academic achievement.”
For those who walk into Fischer’s classroom, it is obvious she has high expectations for her students. As in most classrooms, some of Fischer’s students speak English as a second language, some have learning disabilities, some need review lessons, and some are ready for acceleration. Considering all of her students unique learners, Fisher gives individualized assignments that promote each student’s talents. Some of the students may stand while they learn; some draw pictures to explain their thinking; others use the computer to practice new concepts. During any given math lesson, students may be working on first, second, and third grade objectives.
Fisher was noted for communicating often with parents and building strong relationships with families. She often goes above and beyond; for example, she met weekly for lunch with a family of three homeless children, to provide support and to encourage plans for higher education and the future.
Fischer also has established cooperative relationships with community members. Through her role as PTA Teacher Liaison, she has given presentations at PTA meetings on new county initiatives. She has worked with community members on projects that include organizing an auction to raise money for a playground accessible to students with disabilities, holding a hurricane relief drive at the school, and raising money for victims of the tsunami. She currently is a sponsor of the school’s Student Council.
As an educator, Fischer pursues a team approach to teaching that includes walkthroughs of other classrooms and peer visits so teachers can share their expertise with each other. She is a representative on the School Leadership Team and serves as team leader for grades 2 and 3. She frequently participates in training other staff in a variety of areas, including the use of data to drive instruction.
Fischer has opened the doors of her model classroom to several first-year teachers for peer visits. The new teachers have put her practices into action, with successful outcomes for their students.