October's Teacher of the Month
We are proud to announce Ms. Chadasi Betterson as October’s teacher of the month:
Ambling down the ninth grade halls, I hear a firm, warm voice instructing students and the talk of centimeters, meters, miles, and a plethora of measurements that surround the mathematical realm. As I peek in the classroom,all eyes are glued and engaged as Ms. Betterson teaches her students using a visual and tactile demonstration to help students understand the trick to working with different measurements, helping students to see when they decrease and increase and whether one uses division or multiplication to solve the equation. When I was a student, I only really remember reading about how to complete these operations in my head; I never had a teacher visually demonstrate a mathematical equation. As I thought about it, she gives a beautiful gift to students, making complex concepts so easy and workable simply by using different learning modalities to model the content for them. But beyond even the classroom, it’s her passion and heart for the students that is most astounding.
Though you may know her as the fearless ninth grade leader who carries a big stick (a ruler in mathematical terms), Ms. Betterson is the most down to earth individual you’ll meet. Having taught numerous areas of math including Algebra, Geometry, Math II, Math III, and Math IV, she has served A.E. Beach in numerous capacities throughout the years; officially she has been on record as a teacher at Beach for two years. Receiving a B.S. In Mathematics from Savannah State, she also has a Masters in leadership from Fielding Graduate University. Clearly she is both a skilled teacher and leader in her position here. In her spare time she does not limit herself to mathematical computation; in fact, Ms. Betterson enjoys creating abstract paintings, participating in community service and reading.
When asked about her success, Ms. Betterson reveals that she does “not know where I would be if it was not for my mother’s will to steer, influence, motivate, and guide me in some very compromising times.” Her strength, willpower and determination stem from her mother’s example. In fact, Ms. Betterson grew up in the inner city and HUD housing and weathered the challenges of these circumstances with her mother as her guide; these times did not limit her brothers and her in the least. Because of her mother’s strong example and leadership and the willpower and expectations she imparted to her children, every single one of her four brothers and she are college graduates. Today, one is an officer in the Coast Guard, one a counselor in a correctional facility, yet another an accountant for Georgia Power and one a mechanical engineer. And of course, Chadasi is an engaging teacher and strong leader here at A.E. Beach High. Following her mother’s example of strong leadership, Ms. Betterson is an example to her own daughter, who is beautiful young lady that plays an active student role in Johnson High School’s IB program. Surely, her intelligence and drive is a tribute to her own mother’s example.
In the daily battlefield of teaching, more an engaging play of sorts in her classroom, one of Ms. Betterson’s greatest strengths is motivating kids to believe in themselves. In fact she believes, that students “will attempt to accomplish the impossible because they understand that is my expectation.” She sets the bar high and encourages them to solve rigorous problems beyond their grade level, because quite simply put, she believes in them deeply. Without a doubt, her babies, as she calls her high schoolers, have always risen to the occasion and exceeded expectations. In the words of Ms. Betterson, “the greatest attribute any teacher can is to have genuine love and compassion for Education in its entirety, especially students.” And in those very words, it’s clear that she has the coveted x-factor of teaching.
In order to engage students, Ms. Betterson believes in involving all student learning styles and modalities. She involves tactile and kinesthetic lessons that draw in students talents and keep them actively engaged, believing that moving around releases energy and makes a dull lesson the most powerful. Even in her math classes, she involves Socratic questioning and has courageous conversations with her students because these help her build relationships with them. During these sessions, students are able to clear up misconceptions, expound to higher or appropriate differentiated levels, and explore higher levels in Bloom’s taxonomy.
Her successes aren’t without typical teacher struggles, lest you think her the real Super-teacher-woman. As a teacher, she struggles with prioritizing and meeting deadlines, but her advice to others is this: “Always come to work daily believing you can impact the life of not just one child, but all children. In many instances, you are probably one of the most stable adults they see on a daily basis. Cherish those ah-ha moments and memorable times you share with your students. Embellish and embrace every opportunity to live in the moment of being an educator. Change your corner of the world!” Indeed, Ms. Betterson creates a legacy through this vision, and inspires us all.
Thank you Ms. Betterson for your leadership and commitment to the lives of our students. We congratulate you on the honor of October’s Teacher of the Month!