Each year, all New Mexico school districts are invited to nominate an outstanding teacher to become New Mexico's Teacher of the Year; this teacher represents New Mexico in the National Teacher of the Year competition. New Mexico's Teacher of the Year acts as the spokesperson for the teaching profession for New Mexico. The New Mexico Teacher of the Year program incorporates the New Mexico Public Education Department's vision of a world-class educational system in which all New Mexico students are prepared to succeed in a diverse, and increasingly complex, world.
Bythe Turner works as a Bilingual Education Teacher and school Native American Liaison for the Rio Rancho Elementary School at the Rio Rancho Public Schools. Blythe has taught for six years.
Barbara Bruce, Principal at the Rio Rancho Elementary School, in her nomination letter has this to say,
"Ms. Turner is an excellent candidate for the New Mexico Teacher of the Year award. She has a strong multicultural perspective and sets high expectations for her students. Due to her diligence these students are very high performing. She is a bilingual teacher at our school and is highly respected by her colleagues for her expertise. She possesses a vast level of knowledge in sheltered instruction and language acquisition, and is committed to involving her students in goal setting and data study."
In her application essay about her philosophy of teaching, Blythe relates:
"I believe that one of the most important aspects of being a teacher is also that of being a student, a student of life as well as learning. The two intertwine and open doors for numerous possibilities. I pride myself in my efforts to increase my knowledge and in turn increase my power as an educator. Being a life long learner is crucial in an ever changing, ever evolving society. I aspire to bestow upon my students a similar quality and drive to become life long learners or a multitude of disciplines and to share their knowledge with others."
Blythe’s description of a high quality teacher is:
The phrase “it takes a village” rings as true today as it has any other generation. It is important that we consider all avenues and resources in the education of our children. No one person possesses all of the qualities necessary to give students a thoroughly well-rounded education. We must call on the strengths of one another and must seek out the aptitudes of families and community members in our efforts to guide our students in their pursuit of knowledge. Families are the primary educators of all children and must be a part of formal education. As a classroom teacher, I strive to work in collaboration with families and community members to promote awareness and interest in culturally and linguistically significant education. This type of information may be delivered in many forms: art, music, spoken tradition, and written text. All students should be proud of who they are and where they come from and have the opportunity to share their heritage and individuality with others using an assortment of mediums. Tolerance and acceptance grows as students are empowered to share their uniqueness with peers. Families are incredible resources that can assist educators in our endeavor make the goal of learning a success."
The New Mexico Public Education Department and the NM Teacher of the Year program is proud to have such a wonderful, caring professional as our representative in the National Teacher of the Year competition.