2021 Extraordinary Educators: Geoffrey Butler
Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.
Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of eight articles, we will highlight our 2021 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.
Geoffrey Butler has been at Ferndale Middle School for two years, but he has been a teacher for 18 years in total. He loves learning and thinks “it’s amazing to inspire it in my students and to experience it myself.”
LaToya Caesar, the principal at Ferndale Middle School, describes Mr.Butler as the “embodiment of the Ferndale culture of Positivity, Respect, Integrity, Determination, and Excellence in his pedagogical practice this year with our ESOL population”.
In addition to the ways he has gone above and beyond in his work with the Testing Team and a variety of other roles, Caesar says “He is consistent and shows up every day for our kids.”
Q: What inspired you to become an educator?
A: I struggled with learning differences in middle school and I may not have made it had I not had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Pittman. She took time to meet with me before school to help me get organized and be successful in my classes when other teachers were not.
Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?
A: I believe in student-centered learning. Once a structure or a routine is established, it should be up to the students to guide their learning and to help their fellow classmates. I’m there in case they get lost or are in dire need of help, but helping students to learn for themselves and reflect on their learning is what teaching is all about for me.
Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?
A: My classroom motto is “teacher as learner and learner as teacher”
Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?
A: I think that the best part of every day is those unexpected moments of joy and learning. It’s when the students ask you that question that you didn’t see coming or when a spontaneous discussion breaks out.
Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?
A: Prior to joining GCS, I was a teacher at an academic preparatory program. A student whom I had interviewed at a beginning level graduated from our program and gave a rousing speech describing his experiences. To see how much he had changed and grown due to our teaching was very memorable.
If Mr.Butler could tell students anything, she would tell them “I believe that we’re all born to learn and I will work as hard as I can to make certain that they are able to learn as much as possible.”
Thank you so much to Geoffrey Butler for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2021 Extraordinary Educator!
Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff