IRMO, SC - Irmo Elementary School second grade teacher Margaret Nickerson has been selected for the Columbia Area Reading Council (CARC) Distinguished Reading Teacher Award for the 2016-2017 school year. This marks the second consecutive year a teacher from District Five has been selected for this honor.
“I am so honored and appreciative to be named the CARC Distinguished Reading Teacher for the 2016-2017 school year,” Nickerson said. “For them to see what I am doing in the classroom lets me know that I am on the right track and that I am doing the right things with reading. My style is not conventional. I am always implementing creative ideas for my students and I am glad they support that.”
Nickerson is in her ninth year of teaching and has spent her entire career at Irmo Elementary. In fact, Irmo has a special place in her heart as she grew up there and attended Irmo Elementary as a child. She went on to graduate from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and received her Master’s degree in Language and Literacy from the University of South Carolina. She was named Teacher of the Year in her fourth year at Irmo Elementary. Nickerson’s philosophy behind her teaching is a “child-centered approach” where she finds out where each student’s learning level is and meets them there. Her instruction is designed based on what each student needs. While she always holds her students to the same high standards, her teaching approach changes each year because every student and every class is different.
“Reading is so important because it affects everything you do,” Nickerson said. “It affects your math, and how you comprehend science and social studies. I try to incorporate reading into everything we do as a class to help them to grow, not only to learn the words, but to understand them and have a deeper comprehension of them. My goal is for our students to really enjoy reading. They have to see themselves as readers.”
The Columbia Area Reading Council is made up of schools in Lexington, Richland and Fairfield Counties and the award is given annually to the top reading teacher in the council. Nickerson was one of eight nominees for the award from District Five.
“Margaret is an amazing teacher. She not only teaches her students, she teaches our interns and teaches our other teachers,” Irmo Elementary School principal Tina McCaskill said. “The fact that she is being recognized with the CARC Distinguished Reading Teacher Award is amazing. This award is a testament to all her hard work, dedication and expertise. Mrs. Nickerson represents our Irmo Elementary School family with great pride and we are so proud of her!”
Photo caption: Mrs. Margaret Nickerson (back right) of Irmo Elementary School has been awarded the Columbia Area Reading Council Distinguished Reading Teacher for the 2016-2017 school year.