When students who have had Mrs. Erica Evans-DeSimone think back on their experience in her classroom, there are plenty of unpleasant words crossing their minds. In spite of her demanding tests and warm-ups, “MLEC’s Most Intimidating Teacher” is one instructor that everyone is bound to come back to visit- even more so after winning her latest moniker: Teacher of the Year.
Even after graduating from Hialeah Miami Lakes Sr. High, Mrs. Evans began to see herself at the head of the classroom near the end of her college career at the University of Florida. Always interested in the sciences and government, she wished for a job that entailed educating young students on history, specifically.
Although her competition for the award were all “awesome teachers”, she recalls her “unique way of teaching” that helped her win this esteemed award. “Education should be fun.” She believes it helps the kids remember the lessons more easily.
“I practice tough love.”
Everyone can agree with that, surely. It’s her get-back-at-it attitude towards her students that helps them overachieve in future courses that her classroom prepared them for. Mrs. Evans is one teacher that certainly does not view a failure or a mistake as a hurdle, but rather as an opportunity.
Directed at her support system of students and teachers, family and friends, Mrs. Evans stated that she is “beyond lucky” to have them. She admires her colleagues who understand and support her, even more so throughout her life at MLEC.
When it comes to her past students that come back specifically to see her and relate their stories in the real world to her own, she loves seeing how her teachings have impacted them in the long run. Whether it’s “You were right!” or “That did happen!” she enjoys having her kids back.
What she says wholly amuses her is how her students remember stuff she said 10 years ago. “It’s hilarious; I can’t even remember what I said 10 minutes ago.” Mrs. Evans joked.
Before as well as after receiving this award, she hopes that as sponsor for the Class of 2017, they have a “fun and memorable senior year.” More so as the Cambridge Academy leader, she is working hard for everyone to recognize them as the best program in the county.
“We know it, but we want them to know it.” Mrs. Evans wants the Cambridge academy to carry on “kicking butt”, and most importantly, to grow.
When asked about any upcoming plans now that she’s won Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Evans-DeSimone said that although she’s considered taking other avenues to get to where she desired to be, she wants to continue in what she’s in currently.
“Being an educator is what I am. It’s what I do.”