Bertero is Reading Teacher of the Year

Published 7:57 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bonita Bertero was named the City-Wide Reading Teacher of the Year by the Suffolk Reading Council.

Bertero is currently a second-grade teacher at Pioneer Elementary School, where she has been teaching for the last three years. She has been a teacher since December of 2003 and began her career in Suffolk. During her time teaching, she also taught in Isle of Wight County for eight years.

Bertero’s original path wasn’t in elementary education. When she began her education at Old Dominion University, she planned on getting a degree in business administration, but she later used the career switcher program at the school to get her teaching license in elementary education.

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Reading has been a main focus for Bertero in her classroom. She recently received her master’s degree from ODU in reading education. She utilizes her education to make the classroom a fun place for the children.

“My favorite part is the students and watching them grow and watching the light bulb turn on,” Bertero said. “If you make it fun, they will learn.”

Reading is an essential function to learning, and having the ability to read gives the student the ability to master other subject areas, according to Bertero.

One key to success Bertero has in the classroom is differentiation. This helps the teachers differentiate the instruction for each student to give the best pace to master the materials given in the classroom.

“You have to find out what their developmental level is and teach from that point. You need to meet them where they’re at,” Bertero said.

Bertero loves the classroom no matter the grade level she is teaching. She has taught both first- and second-grade classes in her 15 years.

“I just think it’s an exciting field, and I love to see the growth and excitement in the students. It makes all the work teachers put into the job worthwhile to see the progress,” Bertero said.

Bertero will be honored by the Suffolk Reading Council at the English Highlights banquet on May 8.

Since winning the city-wide award, Bertero will be considered for the Virginia State Reading Association’s Reading Teacher of the Year. The winner of the statewide honor will receive $1,000.