Skip to main content

The Hood Magazine

2017 Teacher of the Year

Jan 31, 2017 10:15AM ● By Hood Magazine
By Jessica Brovold, 'Hood Editor

It’s called EPIC, a new personalized learning program. It stands for Empowering, Personalizing, Innovating and Creating.

 “We put learners in the driver’s seat of their own learning journey,” said Gottsleben. “We allow them voice and choice in their learning, and create an atmosphere where they can learn at their own pace! As facilitators, it’s our job to provide our learners with seminars, coaching sessions, one on one time and tools to make them successful!”

Ms. Gottsleben was nominated for ‘Hood Magazine’s Teacher of the Year Award by two of 
 her students. Caleb and Shyla say they’re enjoying this new style of learning and their parents agree.

“Ms. Gottsleben has been extremely enthusiastic and put in tons of extra work to get the second graders prepared and have the ability to learn at their own pace,” said Caleb’s mom, Lisa. “This took determination and passion - both of which Ms. Gottsleben shows.”

The 22 second graders work independently and at their own pace. They’re learning life skills such as time management, self-discipline and so much more that goes beyond the classroom.

 “Ms. Gottsleben has put in so much effort and extra time and all with the biggest smile and most positive attitude,” said Shyla’s dad Garner. “My daughter Shyla is challenged every day, but she continues to have the positive attitude and energy for learning that has been instilled in the students.”

Ms. Gottsleben says she gets her energy from the school and it makes her job so rewarding.
“I love the idea that I can impact them in their lives not only in school, but outside of school as well,” said Ms. Gottsleben. “It’s encouraging to watch them grow and succeed throughout their year with me, and their time spent here at Freedom Elementary.”
She also says when it comes to motivating her students it all comes down to positive reinforcement, constructive criticism and real life.

“I love to let my learners know when they are doing a great job and this motivates them to 
 keep working hard,” said Gottsleben. “By giving them constructive criticism I am able to help them overcome fears and insecurities. In any way possible, I like to apply what we are doing in our classroom to life outside of school. These are all great motivators for kids to work as hard as they can!”

She says the most rewarding part of her job is the relationships she builds with the parents and students.

“It’s seeing the smiles on their faces each morning, the academic successes in the studio and just knowing how much I mean to them and how much they mean to me,” said Gottsleben.

Gottsleben grew up in Watertown. She graduated high school in 2009 and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Sioux Falls.

Caleb and Shyla’s nominations:

“Miss G has been a team member who is extremely enthusiastic and put in tons of extra work to get the second graders prepared and have the ability to learn at their own pace.  This took determination and passion - both of which Miss G. shows.” Nominated by Caleb

“Her commitment has required extra work and constant adaptation to ensure positive learning experience for so many different students, learning styles, and progression levels for each student. She has been a huge supporter of this new and exciting learning format and is constantly learning how to make it even better.” Nominated by Shyla