Christy Osborne, a recent graduate of Missouri State University who teaches at Central Park Elementary, was recognized for her outstanding teaching.
She was awarded the Teacher of the Year for the Monett School District.
Osborne graduated from Missouri State in May 2022 with a master’s in elementary education and a graduate certificate in dyslexia. She is currently in her 10th year of teaching third grade.
Osborne’s colleagues nominated her for the award because she goes above and beyond for her students.
Using her passion to help others
Several years into her teaching career, Osborne believed she had more to learn to be the best teacher for her students. She enrolled in the master’s program while teaching full-time.
However, during the beginning of her coursework, she did not feel driven. She felt that her priorities needed to be fully on her teaching career, so she put the program on hold.
She later noticed that some of her students were showing dyslexic qualities and realized she did not have the training to teach them.
“The students felt dumb, and they thought something was wrong with them,” Osborne said. “I knew I needed more specialized training on how to help these students realize that they are smart and help them succeed academically.”
When she discovered that Missouri State had a graduate certificate in dyslexia, she rejoined the program. She thought it was what she needed to help the struggling readers she sees every day.
“Once I heard about the dyslexia certificate, I knew I had chosen the right college and picked up right where I left off,” Osborne said.
During the last year of her program, she put what she learned from her studies into practice and won Monett Teacher of the Year.
Asking for help to become a better teacher
Throughout Osborne’s teaching career, she learned the importance of asking questions.
“One of the most challenging aspects when I began teaching was asking for help,” Christy said.
“Once I got my degree, I thought I should know exactly what I needed to do. I thought that if I asked too many questions, it meant that I was not a good teacher.”
Osborne started talking with other teachers a few weeks into her first year of teaching and admitted that she felt overwhelmed. She discovered that she was not alone in her struggles.
“After seeing teachers with years of experience still asking questions, I realized that in order to learn, you must continue to ask questions.”
Osborne’s ability to ask questions and admit when she needs help has allowed her to develop extraordinary teaching skills.
She uses these teaching skills to help her students thrive in their academic and personal lives.
“Making a difference in the day-to-day lives of my students is the most rewarding part of being a teacher,” Osborne said.
“But to say that teaching is rewarding is not enough. Teaching students to be the best person they can be is the most important task teachers face.”
As a recipient of the Monett Teacher of the Year award, Osborne has learned how to help students be the best version of themselves.
Advice for future teachers
Osborne advises future teachers to stick with their career through the difficult times. She said that teaching will be hard, physically and emotionally, and they will be thoroughly exhausted.
But the challenges will be worth it.
“The sparkle in the student’s eye when they overcome a struggle to understand something, the voice of confidence when the quiet student raises a hand to give an insightful answer and the smile on the students’ faces make the difficult parts of teaching seem so unimportant,” Osborn said.
“These children are the future of our world. We make today better for our students; they make tomorrow better for all of us.”