NH Teacher of the Year Passionate About Engaging Students in Reading

Concord High School English teacher Heidi Crumrine was named New Hampshire Teacher of the Year on Tuesday.

The New Hampshire Department of Education says Crumrine was chosen for her dedication to teaching every type of learner. Now she’ll be the state’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Crumrine on Wednesday.

The transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.

So what are you most passionate about when it comes to teaching?

I’m really passionate about engaging kids in reading. And as I teach high school, sometimes they come in and they’ve sort of lost their love of reading either through their lives have just gotten busy, or they sort of felt like they learned how to read and then I’m all set. And so I really try to reignite that passion through supporting them through a lot of independent reading, where I let them choose what they want to read with support for me in a way that allows them to read at their own pace and level of interest. And really just connecting the right kid with the right book at the right time—I really believe that can change the trajectory of their entire life. And it also helps me to just get to know them and engage with them, and then I sort of move the curriculum around that. But I have a lot of success with that and a lot of kids say I hate reading and then within a few weeks they—yesterday actually, a student said I just finished the first book I’ve ever read. I can’t believe it. I’m so excited. What’s the next one? And I gave them the next one, and I was just so proud of him. But was he was more proud of himself I think and that’s a great feeling.

You’re entering your 16th year of teaching and you’ve been with Concord High for 13 years. Now we hear so much about teacher burnout. What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?

I think a lot of it honestly is the passion for getting kids to read, and that there’s so much wonderful…

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