Teaching Fireworks: Why Zest Simmons Loves Teaching #LoveTeaching

We can get out of education, but the kids can't. Today's students need educators who love them and who love teaching. Zest Simmons, award-winning AP Teacher and Alabama State Teacher of the Year 2019 tells the story of how she ignites learning and loves students in her classroom. We can reach every child. Zest talks about how.


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Zest Simmons - Bio as Submitted

Inspired to become an educator by her own teachers, Zestlan Simmons, a National Board Certified teacher, was once told by a family friend to “reconsider her options” when she shared her dream. However, for her, the joy of seeing students engaged in mastering writing skills has been the catalyst for pursuing her dream. This love of empowering students with the awareness of their capabilities led her to return to Booker T. Washington (BTW) Magnet where she once benefited from an arts education through the Carver Creative and Performing Arts Program (CCPAC), which is now BTW. In her role as an educator at BTW, she contributes to cross-curricular planning initiatives, which encourage art and academic teachers to collaborate on special projects and classroom instruction.  

When her school partnered with  the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and A+ College Ready,  she started teaching Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition in 2009 and was recognized by NMSI as the AP English Teacher of the Year for increasing the AP Language exam scores for minority students.

In 2017, she pursued a certification in Instructional Leadership so that she could continue to mentor new teachers. Her greatest joy has been to see her former students become teachers in Montgomery, in Alabama, and in the nation

Twitter: @ZestlanSimmons

Instagram: @zsimmons99

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