Teacher Appreciation Week: Great Teachers Matter, Day 5

Posted : 2 May 2016

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In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the NC NTSP will feature several teachers in our partnership districts throughout North Carolina each day this week. Please see below for the final profile. We invite you to express your appreciation for those great teachers and school leaders who have made a difference in your life by tweeting #GreatTeachersNC.

Thank you to all of the great educators who make such a difference every day for the students of North Carolina!


Joshua Gaskill, Southeast Region Teacher of the Year, Pamlico County Schools, 2014-2015

Joshua is a sixth-year teacher and a Graduate of ECU ('10) with a Master of Arts in Teaching (History) and an Undergraduate of  NCSU ('08) with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences. 

What intrinsic motivational factors influenced your decision to become a teacher?

I have always had a passion for helping others and for the content that I teach. Teaching has allowed me to do what I love. Every day in my classroom is a new opportunity to engage and excite my students about learning history!

Please share your journey thus far relative to being nominated as Southeast Regional Teacher of the Year (TOY).

My journey began at the school level, being recognized by my colleagues. I was honored just simply knowing that my fellow teachers thought that much about me! From there, I was awarded the district and then the regional title. Throughout the whole process, I have met so many incredible educators and have been able to share a message of inspiration regarding the teaching profession.

How has your recognition as TOY impacted your teaching capacity?

Being the TOY has allowed me to see different facets of education. I am currently using my “teacher voice” in regards to policy-making as well as making impacts in my district’s beginning teacher program.

In recognition of attending the Ron Clark motivational presentation October 26th, what are some of the ideas and thoughts you will advocate as you travel North Carolina and utilize in your classroom?

I place much value on building relationships with my students, which is something Ron Clark embodies in his teaching practices. I attribute my success in the classroom to my ability to connect with my students, investing time in their interests, and understanding their strengths. A truly effective teacher takes the time to build relationships with students.

Please share a few of your best practices utilized in the classroom to support Beginning Teachers.

I strongly believe in organized and effective lesson planning.  I always have an agenda visible and present for every class.  Students appreciate knowing what to expect each day.  I always have some type of bell ringer and exit ticket.  I believe in empowering students to think and use their creativity in my classes so that they take ownership in their work.