HomePoliticsMissy Testerman named 2024 National Teacher of the Year

Missy Testerman named 2024 National Teacher of the Year

Missy Testerman has been educating young minds for more than 30 years.

Her hard work paid off with a distinguished honor: Testerman was named the 2024 National Teacher of the Year. It is selected by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The news was first announced on CBS mornings. Testerman is a longtime elementary school teacher at Rogersville City Schools in Rogersville, Tennessee.

“There are 3.5 million teachers in this country, so to be named as the teacher who gets to advocate for our teachers and our students is just an incredible honor,” she said.

In a tribute video to her years of hard work and support as an educator, a former student told CBS Mornings, “She makes everyone feel important.”

Testerman has previously taught first and second grades and is currently the English as a Second Language program director. Testerman said she wanted to be a teacher when she walked into the classroom of her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Brown.

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“I was very scared, and she took me by the hand, led me to where my classmates and the toys were, and from that moment on I wanted to be just like Mrs. Brown,” Testerman said.

Missy Testerman will be unveiled as the 2024 National Teacher of the Year on April 3, 2024 on CBS Mornings. / Credit: CBS News

Missy Testerman will be unveiled as the 2024 National Teacher of the Year on April 3, 2024 on CBS Mornings. / Credit: CBS News

What she loves most about being a teacher is being the person who can “unleash a love of learning in students,” she said.

Testerman emphasized that there is no such thing as bad students, and that anyone can have a bad day.

“There may be kids who have bad days or kids who struggle with the circumstances they’re in, but there’s no such thing as a bad kid.”

But when students trust teachers and create strong bonds, Testerman said she believes learning happens.

“When students realize that you are on their side and you want them to build a good life for themselves, learning accelerates.

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First lady Jill Bidenwho worked as a teacher for decades, surprised Testerman with flowers on CBS Mornings.

“I always say teachers are our heroes, and I wanted to be here today to celebrate Missy, just as I love to celebrate teachers,” the first lady said.

While they share a love and passion for their profession, both women recognize the challenges teachers face today.

Testerman said she maintains there is no teacher shortage, but that the problem lies with compensation.

“You often hear that there is a teacher shortage. We have many well-trained teachers, people who were even in our classrooms, who were very effective educators, but who left because they needed to make more money for their teaching. families,” she said. “The average new college graduate entering an education program is 25% less than most other career fields.”

When it comes to teacher retention, Biden is asking for help from those currently in the classroom.

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“I think it’s up to the teachers who are already in the classroom to recruit other teachers and mentor them because that’s exactly what Missy does. She mentors other teachers and I think it’s so important,” she said.

Biden announced the first-ever Teachers of the Year state dinner, which will take place on May 1.

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