MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A classroom of fourth-graders at Eagle Ridge Elementary is signing a song about the Little Dipper and the Big Dipper, and teacher Seema Naik often writes songs to help students remember lessons.
It is this type of creative approach that makes her a favorite among students, like Raegan Rodgers.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a teacher that’s this hands-on and that cares this much,” Rodgers said.
Naik is a standout, respected by peers and faculty at the Coral Springs school.
“It is not very often you find a teacher who can teach science and the way she can with the knowledge that she has,” said Lindsey Sierra, principal of Eagle Ridge Elementary.
That knowledge she is referring to is as a professional engineer, and it is put to good use.
Naik came from India to the United States at the age of 25.
It wasn’t until she had daughters in school, right here at Eagle Ridge, that she found her calling in a whole new field.
“I started as a volunteer. I worked in the cafeteria, I worked as a teacher’s assistant, and then I realized the reward that I was getting, the pure joy that I was getting, was being around the children and I began teaching,” Naik said.
That was ten years ago.
In that time, she has taught all grades, math, science, and technology too.
Colleagues credit her for expanding stem learning at Eagle Ridge.
“I bring all my engineering background and some of the style that I do – like math or science – I do it the way I learned in India,” she said, working within the curriculum and the standards.
Her passion, love of music, and unique style no doubt contribute to being honored as Broward County’s best, the 2022 Teacher Of The Year.
Naik has also used her coding and engineering skills and taught the kids robotics, and her students are not just competing, but they are winning at the state level.
The prize and recognition for the top teacher honors are certainly appreciated, but she says her real reward is each day on the job.
“The students inspire me every day, for me to do better, and more engaging environment so I can create that for them. This is my real purpose in life, to impact these children.”