Students sat silently with legs crossed on the colorful rug, intently listening to the story of “The Gingerbread Man,” learning about his journey and then taking a journey of their own following the path of the gingerbread man before ending up back in the classroom.
It is just one of the ways teacher Nancy Zimmer-Clark makes learning fun for her prekindergarten students at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy.
Zimmer-Clark prepares and implements lessons for her classroom that are both engaging and fresh. She plans ahead of time to ensure her students get the most out of their learning, said Principal Mary Derrick.
It is activities like these that the students enjoy and are part of the reason students always want to be in her room, she added.
“Mrs. Zimmer-Clark creates a classroom environment that promotes student success with a focus on student engagement, consistency and innovation,” Derrick said. “She uses music, hands-on activities and technology daily. Transitions are purposeful and effective. Nancy does not miss a teachable moment.”
Zimmer-Clark is a teacher who loves her students and her profession. She is a wife and new mother who still finds time to be the best teacher she can be.
“Nancy works tireless hours preparing fun and exciting activities for her classroom and our school as a whole,” Derrick said. “She involves other teachers in special events she is doing in her classroom. Her lessons are both innovative and enriching.
“The atmosphere in her classroom is one of comfort and caring. The students are excited to learn.”
Zimmer-Clark planned and organized a schoolwide Easter egg hunt sharing the history of the holiday.
For Cinco De Mayo, her classes learned about the Spanish heritage, made quesadillas and sang songs in Spanish to increase their bilingual abilities.
Zimmer-Clark also serves on the Mae Stevens campus literacy committee and is always willing to share ideas with her fellow teachers.
She was named the Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy Teacher of the Year and went on to win Copperas Cove Independent School District Elementary Teacher of the Year.
“Nancy is invaluable on our campus. She is relied on as a teacher, team member and as a source for information. She knows her job and is good at it,” Derrick said. “She ensures that her students have the best educational experience she can give them.”