Thumbs Up to Instructor’s Teacher of the Year Award

Photo courtesy Ericca Dent
Ericca Dent, a 2nd-grade teacher at Joaquin Miller Elementary, was one of 10 educators to be named the 2020-21 Teacher of the Year by Los Angeles County, an honor that has now been given to a Burbank Unified School District teacher for two consecutive years.

Every weekday morning, Joaquin Miller Elementary School teacher Ericca Dent greets her 2nd-graders by name and checks in on their emotional state by asking them to use their thumbs to express how they are feeling.
“Most students are thumbs up, but there are times it’s sideways or thumbs down,” she said.
Dent does the same to let the students know how she’s feeling and certainly had her thumb up on Friday, Oct. 2, after being congratulated by her class for being one of 10 educators named 2020-21 Teacher of the Year by Los Angeles County.
“A number of them congratulated me, and that was really sweet,” Dent said. “It definitely is an amazing feeling. Looking back at so much of the hard work I’ve done and the work with my students and being recognized, I’m honored and humbled for sure. It’s a great feeling.”
The L.A. County Office of Education held a virtual ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 1, to honor the winners. Dent will receive a $1,000 cash gift from the California Credit Union and a $350 gift certificate for school supplies.

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