The Voice of Wakefield High School

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The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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Wakefield’s Assistant Teachers of the Year make a positive impact

Linda Tant and Chris Hedrick awarded for their efforts
Tenley Robinson
Chris Hedrick is an assistant teacher for the extended content standards (ECS) program. He was the winner of the recent Teacher Assistant of the Year! Linda Tant is an assistant teacher who also won assistant teacher of the year!

Assistant teachers have a vital job: they assist teachers who might need help at any given moment. Whether it is helping students with classwork, getting materials and needs for the classroom, keeping up with attendance or instructing when the main teacher is out, assistant teachers make the lives of educators easier. 

At Wakefield High School, we have an assistant teacher of the year award, in addition to the annual teacher of the year, which highlights their important role. This year we have two assistant teachers of the year: Linda Tant and Chris Hedrick. 

Hedrick is an assistant teacher who works in the extended content standards (ECS) program. After graduating high school, he was told that schools needed teacher assistants, which led him to pursue a career in the field. This career has taught Hedrick some important things in life.

“Becoming an instructional assistant has made me more aware of the needs of others,” Hedrick said. “Not just among my students but also those whom I interact with outside of school; it has given me greater focus on what is important in life.” 

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Shannon Perkins, an assistant teacher as well, knows what it takes to be an assistant teacher. It takes hard work and responsibility in order to help a leading teacher. Perkins believes that Hedrick has been a big help for students who are learning, which is a key factor in being any kind of teacher. 

“Some of the positive teaching qualities that he has demonstrated is leadership, being good with children, empathetic, communicative and approachability,”  Perkins said. “He approaches classroom management with a proactive and positive mindset, building relationships with students and implementing effective strategies.”

He approaches classroom management with a proactive and positive mindset, building relationships with students and implementing effective strategies.

— Perkins

Hedrick is an assistant teacher for teachers Takisha Henry and Carol Meeks in the ECS program. There is no main teacher in the classroom, so Henry and Meeks come together to co-teach. Hedrick assists these teachers by helping with lesson plans, leading group discussions, making copies and more. 

“Mr. Chris is an advocate for students in the classroom setting and ensures students are allowed to explore and participate in whole school environments,”  Henry said. 

Tant has also made an enormous impact on the students and staff at Wakefield. Throughout her career she has led and supported students in their skills as well as in their lives. She has a passion for assisting students and teachers, and it is shown throughout her years of being an assistant teacher. 

“Mrs. Linda Tant is a passionate and dedicated educator who gives her all to the students every day,” Perkins said. “Mrs. Tant continues to learn and grow so that she can better serve the students. She is hard-working and has a positive spirit, making her an awesome role model for students and some adults.”

Catina Cain, Assistant Principal, has seen Hedrick and Tant work with the students herself and had nothing but positive things to say. She understands how hard assistant teachers work and sees why Hedrick and Tant were chosen to be assistant teachers of the year. 

“Mr. Hedrick has been doing this for a long time and has a passion and love for [assisting] students,”  Cain said. “He wants to be there and being in special education is a hard mission. [Chris] and Linda have been two of the people that have been around for a while so that just shows you their ability to stay to the course.” 

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    Abbey MosherApr 2, 2024 at 8:55 pm

    I love this!