CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Today’s Excellent Educator comes to us from Chesapeake.

She describes herself as a “Canadian born to German parents.” A naturalized American who became a citizen in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1995. 

Got all that?   

Ingeborg Wobig is teaching 100% online and has been since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic hit the region. 

“This is my classroom. Like today, we did hangman before math,” she said, showing a hangman game sketched on a board with the word “perpendicular” spelled out.  

Wobig is a fifth-grade regular education and “gifted cluster” teacher at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, but works out of what she calls her “non-formal” formal dining room.

“Even with all the frustrations, it’s been the kids, and watching them grow, and watching them learn to be honest with you. I have had about 100% attendance,” she said. 

10 On Your Side asked her about the hangman game.

“It gets them thinking about vocabulary, it gets them thinking about strategy. Oh — if I guess the vowels first, I’m setting myself up… [to figure out the word,]” she explained.

Behind her in the Zoom call, there is a sign that states “THINK.” 

“My goal is, if these students — any school year not just this one — if they can leave being critical thinkers, then I have set them up to be successful at whatever they choose to do down the line,” she said. 

Also on the dry-marker board is a Dr. Seuss quote, and she sums it up a certain way.

“The Dr. Seuss quote is one of my favorites and it kind of goes with the ‘THINK’ sign. If you read more then you know more. You know more, and you can go wherever you want to go,” she said.  

Wobig sent 10 On Your Side pictures of her children with her dogs.

“My students have met my children online. They have seen them. They have met my moral support dog, met my pets, and I joke, ‘She is literally right there on the floor as I am teaching,’” she said. 

We asked Wobig what her teaching philosophy is.

“I believe in extracting answers by asking guiding questions. It is much more powerful for a child to arrive at knowledge rather than for me to just spit it out,” she said. 

So, how has the last year been?

“Oh, it’s kind of mind-blowing. It has been strange. It’s been exciting. There are many lessons learned that I am still processing,” she said. 

As part of our 10 On Your Side effort to praise Excellent Educators, we asked for the school division to write about the teacher.  

Wobig’s principal wrote about this excellent educator: “Ingeborg Wobig is a fifth grade teacher who puts forth tremendous effort to reach each of her students. Wobig establishes relationships with her students and is genuinely invested in seeing them excel, even in the virtual world. She meets with students individually after her contracted hours and seeks out resources that are in their best interests. Wobig spends hours to create lessons that are engaging and of high interest. Because of her work, her students are eager and excited to learn.” 

That is why Wobig is an Excellent Educator.