WACO, Texas- Out of 77 school districts across the 12-county education service area of Region 12, one outstanding educator was selected for the top elementary teaching award. April Eide of Robinson ISD has been selected as the 2024 Region 12 Elementary Teacher of the Year.
“We are extremely proud of this remarkable educator,” said Jerry Maze, Ed.D, executive director of Education Service Center Region 12. “The time and energy she dedicates to her students, peers and profession is truly an inspiration for others to follow.”
April Eide has been teaching for 16 years in Texas public schools, spending the last five years teaching first grade at Robinson Primary School in Robinson ISD. She previously taught second and third grade at Grand Prairie ISD and second and fifth grade at Red Oak ISD.
Eide’s sincerest passion and heart’s desire is to pour into the lives of children. She always felt unconditionally welcomed in school as a child, and her hope as an educator has been to create that same environment in her own classroom. She strives to ensure that every one of her students is not only prepared academically but also acquires the confidence and skills needed to be successful in every area of life. She works to accomplish this by cultivating a safe environment in which students are surrounded by her love and the love and encouragement of their classmates. Her passion and enthusiasm for enriching students' lives has only increased over her sixteen years of teaching.
“April Eide represents the very best of what a teacher should be,” said Michael Hope, Ed.D, superintendent of Robinson ISD schools. “Each day, her mission is to help her students grow in knowledge, skills and, most importantly, caring for others. April is a blessing to our students, staff and this great profession. We are excited to see her recognized and celebrated as the Region 12 Elementary Teacher of the Year.”
Fostering a Culture of Positivity
For Eide, equipping students with the skills they need to react positively to challenges is a key part of maintaining a productive school environment. She uses social-emotional learning to empower students to adjust to adversity rather than react negatively to stressful situations. One way she does this is by teaching her students to focus and reflect on good experiences in their lives. Each day her class has time they call ‘Good News,’ where students get to share a good experience or story with everyone. Eide sees the time as a way to bring the class together as a family and keep students focused on finding and remembering positive moments. Along with time to share good news, Eide sets aside time each day for everyone to calm their brains and reset to prepare for learning. She has taught her class yoga poses, breathing exercises and other practices to manage emotions. Students are able to experience and work through the highs and lows of the day to accomplish their tasks. Learning these skills takes time and effort, but Eide has seen an improvement in her classroom management.
To further maintain a positive culture, Eide strives to showcase the love, community atmosphere and dedication of every single person on the Robinson Primary School campus. Over her time as a teacher, Eide has written several grants geared toward supplying learning resources and fostering a positive classroom and campus environment. Last year, she received a grant to use canvas photo prints to capture the essence of the Robinson Primary campus. The photos are displayed in the hallways of the school and showcase the caring atmosphere cultivated by educators, school personnel, students, and their families. Building off of the impact of last year's grant, Eide wrote another grant this year to establish a ‘Kindness Crew.’ She collaborated with the Robinson Primary principal and counselor to give students opportunities to practice and experience kindness. Members of the ‘Kindness Crew’ make an impact on their community in both small and big ways. They greet classmates in the morning, welcome new students to the campus and even work to support community service projects and donate to local organizations. These acts of kindness contribute to a positive culture that helps students feel loved, safe and happy at school.
Encouraging Individual Interests
Eide believes that exposing students to the diverse members that make up their community helps reinforce that every person has a unique gift, and it takes all those different gifts to build a successful community. To introduce students to the various roles and opportunities available, Eide always looks out for speakers, field trips and experiences that connect students to the world around them. Her classes have heard from a local beekeeper, Robinson Volunteer Firefighters, members of the Robinson Lions Club and farmers from the area. They visited a local university’s planetarium and a local farm to see how they could take their learning to the next level in different settings. These experiences contribute to expanding students’ worldviews and introducing them to all the possibilities in their community and further. Eide sees this as a learning opportunity and a way to spark interest in her student’s hearts. She knows that some students feel like they aren’t “good” at school, so she takes every opportunity to help them find their gifts and realize the role they play in making their community successful.
2023 Robinson ISD Teacher of the Year
2008 Red Oak ISD Teacher of the Year
Member, Texas Classroom Teachers Association
Education and Family
Eide has a Master of Education in Principalship and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. She has Generalist, English as a Second Language and Principal certifications. The Robinson Rocket is married to Shaun Eide, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics at Baylor University, and they have three children.
ABOUT THE TEXAS TEACHER OF THE YEAR PROGRAM
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