Local pre-K teacher wins DOE’s Big Apple Award

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Rhonda Corin, a Forest Hills pre-K teacher, has become the latest recipient for the Department of Education’s Big Apple Award.

Now in its third year, the award honors the best educators in the city who enrich their school communities, inspire students and model great teaching. She is one of 12 teachers who received the award out of 4,500 nominees. Corin, who works at P.S. 101 “The School in the Gardens,” said working with four-year-olds is a dream come true because “they are pure, they are untainted and they laugh probably 27 times a day.”

She earned a master’s degree from Mercy College and believes that learning has to be hands-on. For example, when the class learned about apples, the classroom transformed into an orchard and the kids made applesauce. When they discussed snowmen, Corin brought in snow to show them and then they analyzed why snow melted.

A teacher who is so invested in their students’ education should be honored all the time. Not only are they learning about aspects of the world, but they are learning about critical thinking as well.

Nominated by parents, Corin went through a rigorous process that included DOE representatives attending her classes, interviewing her and analyzing her methods to build trust between children and parents.

As part of the award, Corin received a $3,500 classroom grant. She also gets to serve as a fellow to Chancellor Carmen Fariña next year.

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