EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Beth Bustya

Sixth grade math and science teacher Clarkdale-Jerome School

Beth Bustya teaches both science and mathematics to Clarkdale-Jerome School sixth graders. She says that educators “need to be held accountable for teaching students what they are required to know for their grade level. But that accountability should not come from one test, given once a year.” (Photo by Bill Helm)

Beth Bustya teaches both science and mathematics to Clarkdale-Jerome School sixth graders. She says that educators “need to be held accountable for teaching students what they are required to know for their grade level. But that accountability should not come from one test, given once a year.” (Photo by Bill Helm)

CLARKDALE – Beth Bustya is not a fan of the education system’s standardized testing. It’s actually the one thing she dislikes about her commitment to the children of Clarkdale-Jerome School.

Annual testing places pressure on both teachers and students which she says is “not beneficial and does not always give an accurate picture of the growth a student has made or of the quality of one’s teaching.”

Bustya, who teaches both science and mathematics to CJS sixth graders, admits that educators “need to be held accountable for teaching students what they are required to know for their grade level.”

“But that accountability should not come from one test, given once a year,” she says.

Bustya’s approach in the classroom is what the school’s principal calls teaching “the whole child.”

“One of Mrs. Bustya’s strengths is her sincere sense of concern for each and every one of her students,” says CJS Principal Steve Doerksen. “She is very empathetic towards students who have various struggles, not only academically at school but also struggles away from school. She is very forgiving and is always willing to give a student a second chance. It is this sincere empathy that I really appreciate. It has proved beneficial to students.”

TEACHING STYLE

• “I try to provide a consistent routine so the students know what to expect each day. I find the students respond well to structure.”

• “I also try to have a positive environment where the kids feel safe to learn.”

NOTABLE

• 2009 Yavapai County Small Districts Teacher of the Year.

“This was a very exciting event and I am honored to have won. I am the advisor for student council and National Junior Honor Society at our school and really enjoy having that time with the students. I also earned my Gifted Endorsement and this allowed me to become the Gifted Coordinator at our school.”

QUOTABLE

“The best thing about teaching is the students. They continually surprise me and make me laugh. A hand-drawn picture with kind words left on my desk means so much to me. Teaching is rarely boring!”

DID YOU KNOW?

Bustya says she “knew early on” that she wanted to be a teacher. So she took several education classes in college, “but then took a psychology class that drew me into a different direction.”

After taking what she calls a “long break” to raise her children, Bustya returned “to my original calling of being a teacher. I returned to school and received my teaching degree and certificate.”

While working on her degree, Bustya was a paraprofessional at Clarkdale-Jerome School before receiving her first opportunity to teach.

“I have been there ever since.”

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