Excellent Educators is a WAVY-TV 10 initiative to celebrate local teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and communities during the coronavirus pandemic. These Excellent Educators were nominated by their school divisions. Congratulations to these educators for all of their hard work and accomplishments!

Name: Emily Voss

Division: Newport News Public Schools

Position: Third grade teacher at Carver Elementary School

What the school division said about this Excellent Educator: Emily Voss has used her students’ remote locations to her advantage in adapting lessons to a virtual setting. When teaching metric units of measure, she had students find objects in their homes that they thought might weigh a kilogram. She checked their suggested objects on a spring scale, giving students concrete examples that helped them estimate weight in kilograms or grams.

They also learned to “decompose” or break down the parts of a kilogram. Ms. Voss had students dancing in their seats to her “Decompose means break it down now” song. Her creative methods have paid off with students internalizing the concepts that might have otherwise seemed difficult.

Voss says her mantra comes from Elizabeth Barkley, author of “Student Engagement Techniques,” who wrote: “Student engagement is the product of motivation and active learning. It is a product rather than a sum because it will not occur If either element is missing.”