Emily Taubken, MTR Grad, Named SCS Teacher of the Year

Emily Taubken, MTR Class of 2014, was named K-4 Teacher of the Year for Shelby County Schools.  Emily teaches 3rd grade at Kingsbury Elementary School in the Graham Heights neighborhood.  Tuesday, Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Chief of Schools Sharon Griffin visited her classroom to present the honor.  What did Emily do when the superintendent stood in her classroom doorway (with news cameras and a bouquet of flowers)?  …She kept teaching, of course!

Emily was an English major at Millsaps College and her passion for literature shows.  “One of my favorite things about teaching is instilling a love of reading,” she said.  “I believe students are natural thinkers, and I enjoy drawing that out of them and making that come to life.”  Students also encourage one another toward deepening their love of reading.  Students serve as classroom librarians and make book recommendations for one another based on interests they observe in their peers.

In her classroom, children are highly valued as thinkers and contributors.  An MTR resident recently observed her teach and tallied Ms. Taubken say, “Tell me more,” over 50 times as she gently probed her students to explain their thinking.

Emily helps train other aspiring teachers.  She has served as a mentor teacher for MTR the past three years, has presented on differentiated reading strategies in district professional development, is a member of the Instructional Leadership Team at Kingsbury Elementary, and is an adjunct professor for the Teaching Social Studies and Science in Elementary School course residents take toward their Master of Urban Education degree.

She credits this honor to other teachers and leaders who have supported her in her career.  “I love Kingsbury Elementary.  It’s a great neighborhood with a great school community.  I work with a lot of great teachers and coaches that have really helped shape my practice.  It takes a village; they’re my village.”

As an SCS Teacher of the Year, Emily will be considered for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.  See the surprise presentation and learn more.