Ocean Township teacher Jeanette Speck (middle) with Daughters of the American Revolution members Tricia Hicks and Leslie Clark.
By DENISE HERSCHEL
Jeanette Speck, an Ocean Township teacher, has received the Outstanding Civics Teacher award by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Speck, who has been teaching American Civics for 30 years, has taught civics for 21 years at Ocean Intermediate School.
She said she has known that she wanted to be a teacher since she was eight years old.
“When I was growing up, I had a tree house in my neighborhood. I would teach lessons in the tree house to the neighborhood kids. I would make up worksheets for my friends and even give out scratch and sniff stickers for a job well done,” she said.
Speck was nominated for the Daughters of the American Revolution entitled, Outstanding American Civics Teacher three years ago. As part of the nomination, she had to submit a binder which included her educational background, five letters of recommendation, her philosophy on education, copies of her favorite lesson plans, student work and an agreement to have a panel from the Daughters of the American Revolution come and observe her for a full 82 minute lesson plan. After preparing for their visit a second time, the observation was delayed two years in a row due to the pandemic. Then in early September, the panel came to observe her lesson on the Declaration of Independence.
“I was excited to learn many months later that they choose me for the award,” she said. “In April I was presented with their award at Shrewsbury Town Hall and was asked to be a guest speaker. There is not a day that I am not thankful for the many rights and opportunities that I have as a United States citizen.”
She also discussed some interactive Social Studies lessons that students participated in with her favorite being the last presidential election. The students participated in a mock election in which each home room served as a state with its assigned electoral vote. The students then voted in their homeroom as part of the lesson.
“There was definitely a buzz of excitement around the building that day. The students created graphs to compare the popular and electoral vote and they enjoyed displaying all their results in this main common area,” she added.
In her presentation, Speck also discussed her ultimate dream for retirement.
“In a few years I would love to be able to volunteer to teach immigrants the Civics Education needed for them to go through the naturalization process to become American citizens,” she said. “I consider myself a patriot and a proud American citizen. I am thankful to the Daughters of the American Revolution for recognizing me and their dedication to share their own heritage in which each of them can trace their lineage back to the Revolutionary War,” she said.