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Special Education Teacher Named D.C. Teacher Of The Year

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D.C. Teacher Of The Year Stephanie Day with her students.
Friendship Public Charter School
D.C. Teacher Of The Year Stephanie Day with her students.

By Kavitha Cardoza

Stephanie Day has been named the "D.C. Teacher of the Year." She uses innovative methods to motivate her special education students.

At Friendship Chamberlain Elementary Public Charter School, Day's 7-year-old students all have different reasons for why their teacher deserves the award.

"My teacher's so special because she's nice and she gives us treats. She lets us play with her toys. She loves all the students," says one student.

What they might not realize is how much time Day puts into her non-traditional lesson plans. She takes the lyrics to Beyonce's 'All The Single Ladies' and rewrites them to help children learn about math concepts. And she uses basketball scores to help children learn all about probability theory.

And before the big standardized tests, Day dresses up as a superhero. "I was D.C. CAS girl, which is the big test in D.C., the cape and everything, flying around the school," she says. "Everything I try to turn into games and fun because I know that when kids are having a good time, that's when they're going to be learning the best."

Day says she sees herself as the gatekeeper.

"So despite the backgrounds my kids [are] from, or the disabilities they're faced with, we see it as an opportunity to change their life."

There are more than 5,000 teachers in the district and two dozen were nominated for this award.

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