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Florida Department of Education/Macy’s Teacher of the Year 2010

Photo of Megan-Allen 2010 Teacher of the Year Megan Allen
National Board Certified Teacher
Elementary Education
Cleveland Elementary School, Hillsborough County

Megan is known as a master of engaging students in learning. “I do whatever it takes-no matter how out of the ordinary!” She does this through unique teaching strategies, including dressing in crazy costumes, authoring rap songs, and secretly acting as the “Sticky Note Fairy.” You never know when you’re going to see her sporting a “recycled garbage bag ensemble” to promote recycling, hobbling around as a pirate for a writing lesson, or bopping around as Beyonce for a school pep rally, singing “If you elaborate we’re gonna put a 6 on it!” Her students walk through the door never knowing what to expect.

Her young learners' current favorites are the “Drop the decimal like it’s hot” dance and the place value dance. She’s also been known to wear wigs and sprinkle positive notes on student work samples outside the classrooms or leave celebratory notes in teacher’s mailboxes from the “Sticky Note Fairy” or the “Fairy FCAT Mother.” She developed a “News on-Live” program to get her fourth grade journalists driving their own inquiry-based learning and reporting their findings to other students via newscasts and podcasts. Whether working with teammates on “Writing Idol” an American Idol-type script or leading the research and planting of school butterfly gardens, Megan is always trying to make a difference in an innovative way.

Megan feels that a teacher’s commitment to children begins in the classroom, but doesn’t end there. Instead of taking a break during her lunch period, she invites students to “Lunch and Learn,” where students can frequently have lunch with her while she reviews or extends whatever topics the students feel they need more practice with. She also boosts student confidence through the “Confidence Squad,” a class pep squad. The “Confidence Squad” writes its own lyrics and scripts, then performs for classes and at pep rallies, spreading the message “Have Courage in Yourself!” She also began a school service club called “Cleveland SOUL--Serving Others through Understanding and Leadership,” believing that all students need opportunities for leadership and community service at a young age.

Megan feels her greatest accomplishment was working with her students, their families, and the community for the establishment of “Yaritza’s Garden,” a memory oasis for a wonderful and dedicated student who passed away after a long battle with leukemia. Students worked with local businesses and staff members to collect donations for the garden and over 200 books, which were later donated to a children’s hospital cancer ward. She thinks the greatest thing we can do for our learners is teach them how to make a difference in not only their lives, but their communities. By teaching them to make a difference, all of us will benefit.

To inquire about Megan’s availability, please contact Bonita Hampton at .