$103 Gift Card for classroom supplies provided by Concordia University
Crystal Apple Award is a beautifully sculpted reminder of achievement and commitment to students and education, sponsored by K103 and Concordia University
Concordia University Continuing Education Scholarship winner will be randomly drawn from this year's Educator of the Week honorees. Teacher education has been the cornerstone of Concordia University for more than 100 years, and this scholarship is one way that Concordia joins students and the community to thank educators for all they do!
All of this year's weekly winners of the EOW are eligible • scholarship redeemable for one graduate or undergraduate course up to three (3) credits, with selection from among all courses available at Concordia University on-campus, online or off-site. • Course selection will be on a space available basis • winner must be qualified for the courses they select. (For example, someone without a bachelor's degree would not qualify for a graduate level course.) • The course must be started within 12 months of the award. • Fees and books are not included. • If a recipient chooses not to take a course, there will be no monetary compensation or reimbursement, and there will be no cash reimbursement if a recipient withdraws from a course for any reason. • Additional restrictions may apply.
Nominated by parent, Karen Underwood:
J.J. Aalto is one of the most caring and dedicated teachers I have seen in the 20 years my children have been in the Portland School District. With her dedication and enthusiasm about teaching, my daughter has grown in ability and self-confidence this year. She works as a partner with us and is as excited about our daughter’s success as we are. Her amazing energy has changed my daughter’s whole outlook on learning. When my daughter needed extra help in reading, J.J. helped us develop a program together that would benefit my daughter. She works tirelessly with each child and creates an atmosphere where each person learns at their own pace. She makes them feel like wherever they are in the learning process, that it is okay and that she has confidence they will succeed. To close, this short story: My mother needed help reading a birthday card because at 89 she does see well. My daughter grabbed the card and said "Hey Mom, let me read that, I am a great reader." When I told this story to J.J., we both shed a tear and she hugged me. She takes teaching to a new level and we should celebrate her for that!
Congratulations J.J. Aalto, from all of us at K103!
What inspired you to become an educator?
I was inspired to become an educator by the many wonderful teachers I have had throughout my life beginning with my parents. I was involved in many, many activities when I was growing up. Throughout my childhood, I had folks that challenged me and believed in me.
What do you like most about teaching?
I love to learn! The kids make learning fun. My students are brilliant! They teach me so much each and every day. It is a gift to teach.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
I find the biggest change in testing/assessments. Although this change is nothing new; it takes time for us all to adjust and prepare. My students are excited to have learning goal challenges. They rise to the challenges placed before them.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
I would like parents to know how much I love this job. Teaching is a great many things. It is greeting the student body and their families each morning, correcting homework on the weekends, listening to students read their first writing pieces with pride, watching students climb on the monkey bars and celebrating with them, reading journal entries full of expression and exclamation points and providing time for the conga lines that inevitably occur when music is played. Teaching is listening and caring for the students entrusted to me. I would like parents to know that I truly love my job.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
As I have many favorite stories it is most difficult to choose just one. One of my favorite stories revolves around the students' reactions to our read-aloud time. I try to find stories with adventure in them. At the moment we are reading Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. We are all so deeply engaged with the story that the kids groan with deep regret when our time is up. I must confess, sometimes we must stretch our time as the story demands an immediate audience for just a couple more minutes!