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Posted October 6, 2011

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Grant Teacher Loves Every Day of It

Barbara Morris named APS / Pepsi Teacher of the Month for September.

Barbara Morris, center, is congratulated by Grant Principal Paul Roney, right, for receiving the Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month award. Phill Casaus of the APSEF and Adrian Chavez of Pepsi look on.

Barbara Morris became a teacher in order to help her daughter, and has stayed in teaching to help the future of the profession.

As the mother of a child with developmental disabilities, Morris met frequently with teachers and did not always understand the jargon they used about how they would educate her daughter. Her interest in learning more about the process led her to take a few college classes in teaching, which led to her earning a degree and certification as a special education teacher. Seventeen years later, she’s passing along her love of the classroom to the next generation.

Morris has been named Pepsi/APS Education Foundation Teacher of the Month for September. The announcement was made in front of the cameras on Grant Middle School’s in-house broadcast, GTV. In addition to teaching 7th grade social studies, she also teaches classes at the University of New Mexico College of Education. And if that didn’t keep her busy enough, Morris also played violin for 37 years in the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

“I love every day of it,” Morris said.

Morris mentors less experienced teachers and often has student teachers in her classes. She tells them that managing the classroom is key to being able to help students learn.

“We have to manage as well as teach,” she said. “We have to treat students like adults, even when we’re correcting them.”

“Barbara Morris has traveled a path from a caring parent to caring teacher, caring peer and caring mentor, and that positive attitude has clearly rubbed off on those around her,” APS Education Foundation Executive Director Phill Casaus said. “This is why Pepsi and the Foundation give a teacher of the month award.”

Pepsi joined forces with the Foundation two years ago to create the monthly recognition for teachers. Award-winners receive $50 from Pepsi.

“She’s a real professional,” Grant Principal Paul Roney said. “I see in her what I would want in a teacher if my student was in the class.”

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