William Hill, English Language Arts & Social Studies Teacher, Little River K-8 School
BEST. YEAR. EVER. Greetings, Durham Public Schools faculty and staff! My name is William Hill, and I am honored to serve as your 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year. At first blush, “best year ever” may seem like a tall order, but less so when you consider the ordinary miracles you make happen for our students every day. You turn phonemes into paragraphs and paragraphs into palaces. You make mathematicians out of the most reluctant. You demystify the world around us through science—and that merely scratches the surface of all that you accomplish in service of learning.
The past three school years have been hard—full stop. Some of you may agree with me that last year was the most challenging as we fully returned to in-person instruction and got a fuller sense of how school closures and remote and hybrid learning impacted our students (and ourselves) academically, emotionally, and socially. One thought that keeps me going is the knowledge that I have survived 100% of my worst days thus far—and so have you! How do we do it again in the year ahead?
Take care of you. I am not telling you anything you do not already know and have not already heard time and time again by saying that you cannot give your best if you are not at your best. Show up for yourself every day, listen to your body, heart, and mind, and do whatever you need to be and feel successful.
Lean on each other. No human being is an island. #WeAreDPS and #SomosDPS mean just that: all of us, together, make up this great community of educators and learners, and many hands make the load light. Seek help when you need it; give help when you can.
Remember your why. What is the best part of your school day? What opportunities do you most look forward to as we approach another year? For me, it is the smiles and laughter I get to share with young people every day as we learn and grow together. Center your work around what you love; the rest will come naturally.
How will you make 2022-2023 your best year ever? I cannot wait to see what we achieve.