LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Miriam Carman

Position: Kindergarten Teacher
School: Madison Avenue Lower Elementary School
School District: Madison County School District
City, State: Madison, MS

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Miriam Carman was nominated by an acquaintance who wishes to remain anonymous..

Ms. Carman considers herself to be a lifelong learner who is dedicated to growing in ways that will benefit both her students and herself. She seized the opportunity to learn new ways to enrich her students' learning by obtaining her National Board of Professional Teachers Certification in 2009 and her Masters of Arts in Elementary Education in 2012. She is currently working on her Specialist in Leadership with a goal of becoming a principal. After teaching regular education for nine years, she decided to become certified in special education to help her inclusion students close the gap in the regular classroom.

When Ms. Carman started teaching at Madison Avenue Elementary, a model school for the Whole Schools Art Initiative, she knew very little about true arts integration in the classroom. She attended the Whole Schools Summer Institute the summer before she started at MAE and used the information learned to begin to integrate the arts in her classroom.

Ms. Carman believes that art is a wonderful learning tool that can be used with all types of learners. She believes that introducing young children to many types of art will motivate them to practice new concepts and enhance their ability to share their thinking and learning. When district funding wasn’t available to provide an art easel for her students, she wrote a grant for an entire art center, which was later awarded to her. This center became a place to allow her students’ creativity to bloom. After attending several Whole Schools Institutes and implementing arts integration in her own classroom, Ms. Carman decided it was time to share all that she had learned with her peers and presented an art experience at the 2017 Summer Institute. She is scheduled to present at the Winter Arts Institute as well in February of 2018.

"Miriam has worked as part of the leadership team at her school to develop innovative instruction methods that became the standard for the grade level. She is a team player and a leader in seeking out and adopting new, effective techniques for teaching reading and math skills and then share these instructional techniques with her colleagues through team planning, professional development presentations, and mentoring new teachers," her nominator said.

Ms. Carman sees the importance of individualized instruction based on her students’ needs and interests. She employs a broad range of instructional techniques to retain student interest and maximize learning. She has sought out professional development to keep her instructional techniques innovative and relevant. Ms. Carman takes time to learn as much as she can about each of her students, and she lets them get to know her as well. She created a book to introduce herself to her class including pictures of her when she was her students’ age, her family, and favorite things. She works to cultivate a trusting and productive relationship with her students.

Ms. Carman is aware of the importance of the family-school partnership. She works with students and their families to create individual goals to ensure that students are making progress both socially and academically. She then maintains consistent, two-way communication to keep parents involved. Although most educators will see students with a wide range of learning needs in their classrooms, having a student with a labeled disability can often be intimidating or overwhelming. Many teachers worry they don’t have the experience or education to support students with identified needs. While it certainly is true that some students do require teachers to obtain new knowledge or skills, Ms. Carman believes that in most cases, all students, even ones with identified needs, can be successful in her classroom simply by expanding or adapting her current practices and strategies already in use.

"Miriam has worked tirelessly over the years to create an inclusive classroom environment for all learners to help develop critical thinking for student learning and achievement," her nominator said. "She provides alternative seating options for students with sensory needs. She keeps student materials organized and easily accessible for all students. Her classroom schedule is very structured, and routines are practiced and well known allowing students to feel confident in knowing what to expect."

Respect is discussed routinely in Ms. Carman’s classroom, and students are encouraged to communicate and connect with others to building a strong classroom community. She has stated that when students don’t succeed in an inclusive classroom, it is often because the lessons in some way are not accessible for students with disabilities. Therefore, she works to differentiate the curriculum, instruction, and assessments to help all students succeed. She uses a wide variety of lesson formats as well as offer many different types of instructional materials.

Some educators think about students with disabilities when they hear the word “inclusion.” Ms. Carman believes creating an effective inclusion classroom is not just providing an environment for students with identified needs to be successful. It is about thinking differently, teaching inventively, and considering how to prepare for everyone to learn. It is about being a better teacher for all.

"I consider Miriam Carman a compassionate teacher who is dedicated to creating an atmosphere that is stimulating and encouraging to all students." her nominator said.

Comments (54)

Dr. Brenda Jones Posted 11 months ago

Mrs. Carman is one of the most amazing teachers that I have had the honor of working with in education. She is an innovator, willing to learn and will go over and above to make sure her students are successful. She is the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for Madison Avenue Elementary, Greater Metro Jackson's Outstanding Teacher recipient, a National Board Certified Teacher and scholarship winner, a member of the leadership and presenter at various workshops. She has won numerous grants for classroom projects and activities. She does an outstanding job of integrating the arts into her curriculum to increase student achievement. She is that teacher who believes ALL children can learn and will do whatever is necessary to make sure that happens. She is simply one of the best!

Demetria Harris Posted 11 months ago

What an awesome teacher and person! She truly believes in her students and is very successful in moving young learners to do their very best. We are proud to have her on our kindergarten team!

Lynn Felts Posted 11 months ago

Miriam is an amazing teacher and a wonderful asset to our kindergarten team. We are so proud that our teacher of the year is also being recognized for the true life changer she is!

Jerome Hawkins Posted 12 months ago

It has indeed been a pleasure to work along with Mrs. Carmen. She is eager to help in any way to enhance the learning environment at our school. Her passion for teaching is seen each and everyday at MAE.

Corrie Moncrief Posted 12 months ago

We are so blessed to have Mrs. Carman at Madison Avenue!

Jessica Weeks Posted 12 months ago

Miriam is my colleague as well as my child’s kindergarten teacher. She is a wonderful teacher and mother. She works so hard to ensure that ALL of her students get what they need to succeed.

Jessie Posted 12 months ago

So amazing. Congrats Mrs. Carmen.

Lynlee Stacy Posted 12 months ago

We are SO happy for Mrs. Carman receiving this very well-deserved honor! Mrs. Carman is such a blessing to my kindergartener as well as to our family! She is a wonderful teacher and we are so blessed to call her ours!

Rachel Recore Posted 12 months ago

Go Mrs. Carmen!! We are so proud to have you as a teacher at our school ??

Anna Nelsm Posted 12 months ago

So happy for Mrs. Carman! She is an amazing teacher deserving of this honor!

Jill Wynn Posted 12 months ago

I am so excited to learn one of our teachers has been nominated for such an awesome award! My daughter, who is now 26, had her mom when she was in the first grade. Her mom was a wonderful, passionate teacher, so I know her love and passion obviously transferred to Miriam. Congrats, Miriam!

Lindsey Lee Posted 12 months ago

Ms. Carman always has a smile to share!

Lisa Gerard Posted 12 months ago

I am a special education teacher who worked with Miriam Carmen at Madison Avenue Elementary. Miriam was inclusive of our special education students and even engaged my students on the playground, including children who were not in her classroom along with those who were. I attended the Summer Institute for the Whole Schools Initiative with Miriam before she started her work at Madison Avenue and found her to be friendly, enthusiastic, and eager to try new approaches to benefit her students. Miriam Carmen is an excellent teacher and a Life Changer.

Kelsey Dennis Posted 12 months ago

Madison Avenue is so blessed to have Mrs. Carman!!

Louann Robertson Posted 12 months ago

What an amazing, and well deserved honor Miriam! MAE is lucky to have you as a member of their team! What a blessing you are to all of your students and their families! I'm hoping one of my little girls gets the privilege of having you as a kindergarten teacher!

Jessica Weeks Posted 12 months ago

Miriam is my colleague as well as my child’s kindergarten teacher. She is a wonderful teacher and mother. She works so hard to ensure that ALL of her students get what they need to succeed.

Amanda Giuffria Posted 12 months ago

Miriam is a wonderful teacher. She is very passionate about her job, and does an excellent job at it. I'm so proud to call her my colleague.

Shelby Trusty Posted 12 months ago

Mrs Carman is an amazing teacher and a wonderful influence on our children. She has sincere joy for her job, and she is so careful to meet the individual needs of her students. She is so deserving of this recognition, and we could not be happier for her!

Anne Nelson Posted 12 months ago

What an awesome nomination for a wonderful woman and teacher...

Ellen Warren Posted 12 months ago

I’m so glad my child was in her Kindergarten class last year!! Such a wonderful teacher!

allison smith Posted 12 months ago

It is a pleasure to work with Miriam and watch all her little ones learn alongside her! She has such a gift and brings fun to the classroom!

Heather Muzzi Posted 12 months ago

What a wonderful nomination! Miriam is a wonderful mother, daughter and great Christian role model. She deserves this honor for all that she does for her students and the children at her elementary school.

Judy Strong Posted 12 months ago

I was excited when my daughter, Miriam, chose to follow in my footsteps to also be a teacher. She has many teachers in her family. I’m very proud of the teacher that she has become.

Sharon Henrikson Posted 12 months ago

Mrs. Carmen is without a doubt the best kindergarten teacher I’ve ever met! My son is repeating kindergarten this year and is in her class. He cried last year every night, dreading school the next day. This year, he’s learning, happy, loved, and can’t wait to go to school. This is all because of Mrs.Carmen and her classroom environment! He’s now reading, writing, and feeling supported! We couldn’t be happier! She truly deserves this award!

Dru Davis Posted 12 months ago

I am so incredibly proud of my pod member and kindergarten team colleague! I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this award. She truly goes above and beyond to give her students EVERYTHING they need to be successful as a learner. Good Luck Miriam!!!!

Regina Chapman Posted 12 months ago

Miriam Carman is a wonderful teacher who is always coming up with new and innovative ways of teaching. She really knows how to make learning fun for her students. She is also eager to share her ideas with others.

Karen Worrell Posted 12 months ago

Miriam has the sweetest spirit and kindest soul. In addition to her school classroom she also teaches about her faith in God on Sundays to the children at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. God has blessed her and us with a special gift.

Lisa Shaw Posted 12 months ago

What an amazing accomplishment! Thank you for your contributions to the future of so many students. You are an inspiration to educators everywhere!

Lou Groves Posted 12 months ago

Miriam Carman is truly a wonderful teacher at our school. I am blessed to call her friend and co-worker.

Bonni Cash Posted 12 months ago

Way to go Miriam!! Teachers like you, especially kindergarten, help to mold our children to help them become the best they can be!!! No wonder Madison Avenue is the best!! Thank you for all you do!

Natalie Hutto Posted 12 months ago

Parents are blessed to have Mrs. Miriam Carman, a kind, caring, God loving woman and leader, to teach, guide, and love their children. Madison County Schools is blessed to have such a wonderful teacher!

Kim Ainsworth Posted 12 months ago

Mrs. Carmen taught my daughter in second grade and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for her! She takes her job very seriously, while maintaining kindness to all her students. She truly cares for each child’s individual needs and it is reflected in her students. Now I get to work with her daily and I see this Joy even more. She is truly A life changer!

Lisa Geimer Posted 12 months ago

Mrs. Carman is a dedicated professional who makes learning fun for her students.

Jessica Rives Posted 12 months ago

Miriam Carman is truly deserving of this! She is a wonderful, caring teacher.

Kristen Mitchell Posted 12 months ago

Mrs.Carman is worthy of this award. It shows just with the enthusiasm she has for teaching and her students.

Kelli Bridwell Posted 12 months ago

We are very fortunate to have Mrs. Carman on our kindergarten team! She is a wonderful teacher and has a special love for her students. She is definitely a "LIFE CHANGER!"

Mphilley Posted 12 months ago

Congratulations, Mrs. Carmen!

Laurise Curtis Posted 12 months ago

We are proud to have such a wonderful teacher as Mrs. Carman teaching our kids. Great job!!!!!

Tametha Reaves Posted 12 months ago

You are one of the many caring people that truly lives out the meaning "having a servant's heart". Your commitment and dedication to the field of education is inspiring.

Michele Thigpen Posted 12 months ago

It was a pleasure working with Mrs. Carmen during the Summer Reading Program and congratulations to you Mrs. Carmen for being recognized for your hard work. You have such a kind heart!

Lynn Posted 12 months ago

Mrs. Carmen had my son for the 2nd grade at MAE. He had become withdrawn throughout his school career and had begun to hate school despite mastering all of the objectives. She was able to work with him to help him demonstrate mastery without pressuring him to finish every worksheet and began to capitalize on his strengths. By the end of the year he was rushing through every book that we could find for him! He read multiple middle grade series (Percy Jackson, Gregor, etc) with encouragement from her. However, the most fantastic thing she did was allow his personality to blossom again and to come out of his shell. He was able to connect to the other students and begin making real friends for the first time. I am eternally grateful to Mrs. Carmen for everything she did as his teacher and all of the time she spent. She definitely changed his life and our family's.

Lois Wilson Posted 12 months ago

Our teacher of the year, Miriam Carman, is a true leader and a wonderful teacher! She stands out in her teaching profession by inspiring her students every day. She leads with wisdom and a spirit of cooperation. Best wishes, Miriam Carman!!

Phylis Findley Posted 12 months ago

Congratulations, Miriam! I'm so proud of your hard work and dedication! Best wishes, and THANK YOU for choosing the most incredible profession and giving it your all!

Ashley Posted 12 months ago

My daughter was blessed to have Ms. Carman as her kindergarten teacher. She couldn't have had a better year!! Ms. Carman is compassionate and fair, but also encourages her students to challenge themselves. We love her and couldn't be happier she's being recognized in this manner!

Tabitha Posted 12 months ago

Mrs. Carmen is a great teacher and a sweet person to work with! She truly deserves this award. I am a special education teacher and I don’t know any other regular education teachers who are willing to go back to school and get certified in special education. Truly a remarkable and caring teacher.

Renee Middleton Posted 12 months ago

Mrs. Carmen is truly an inspiration to her students and co-workers. MAE is lucky to have her as a kindergarten teacher. She has such a kind and sweet personality and is well-liked and appreciated by everyone. She is no doubt a life changer!

Claire Ridgway Posted 12 months ago

Mrs. Carmen taught my son in kindergarten and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for him! She takes her job very seriously, while maintaining such gentleness and kindness. She truly cares for each child’s individual needs and a direct reflection of that is that her students just love her! A life changer she is!

Amy Ramsey Posted 12 months ago

Miriam is a wonderful teacher that eagerly shares her teaching techniques with fellow teachers. She truly has her students best interests in mind each day. She is a treasure for MAE and humble too, she is a model for us all!

Lori Moak Posted 12 months ago

Miriam truly deserves this honor. Her positive spirit is contagious! She works hard and makes learning fun for her students.

Allison Ruhl Posted 12 months ago

She is such a worthy nominee. Dedicated to her practice, supportive of her peers, and always looking to learn more.

Joan Guillory Posted 12 months ago

It has been a blessing for me to be an assistant teacher to Miriam Carman. She is an outstanding teacher.Miriam knows how to get her students engaged in learning with humor and understanding. She gives them every opportunity to succeed. SHE IS A LIFE CHANGER!!

Michelle smith Posted 12 months ago

Miriam is a team player and a wonderful teacher.

Jenny Culver Posted 12 months ago

I attribute the turnaround in my son’s educational experience to Mrs. Carman. She gave him the confidence he needed to take risks and become the very best version of himself.

Julia Baik Posted 12 months ago

Miriam Carman truly cares for each and every student! It's absolutely amazing to see how well she educates each one of such diverse group of students. She is loving, respectful, responsible, team-spirited, creative, and so positive that she is a great asset not only to our students but also to our school as a whole. Miriam Carman definitely deserves to be called a "life changer".