Early Childhood Teacher Receives Award from U of I
Washington Early Childhood Teacher Carrie Riggins Honored
Each year the University Of Illinois College Of Education awards one of its alumni the Outstanding Beginning Educator Award. This year, Washington Early Childhood School teacher Carrie Riggins received the 2009 Outstanding Beginning Educator Award. Riggins was honored in March on the U of I campus.
“I was thrilled and honored when I received the email letting me know I won the award. I was also shocked as I had looked over the past recipients and had seen what amazing things they had done,” Riggins comments.
Riggins got her start in teaching in District 116 while still a student at the U of I. “I did my student teaching with Bridget Maloney at Leal in the Spring of 2003, and it was one of the best experiences of my undergraduate career. That semester at Leal definitely made me want to teach in Urbana in the future,” she says. “I love teaching; it is definitely my passion to work with young children. I love to watch their faces as they finally accomplish the new skill they have been working on for so long. I appreciate and enjoy the connections I can make with my students’ families. I love watching parents watch their children grow,” Riggins adds.
As an early childhood teacher, Riggins knows she will help set the tone for her students’ academic career. She says, “Nothing is more rewarding than knowing I have created an environment that makes a child love school. Because I am often the first teacher a child has, it is so important for Early Childhood teachers to help create that positive attitude about school. I have one 3-year-old student who walks off the bus every afternoon and shouts out with a beam, ‘I’m back; did you miss me?’”
While Riggins has been rewarded as a beginning teacher, it sounds like she hopes to be a long-term at Washington Early Childhood school, as she comments, “I know how incredibly fortunate I am to work with such a wonderful, dedicated, professional staff. Washington Early Childhood is an amazing place to be.”