A Bear for Teacher of the Year

Emily Blackwell, B.S.Ed. ’22

Baylor University elementary education graduate Emily Blackwell, B.S.Ed. ’22, now teaching first grade in Texas at Brentfield Elementary in Richardson ISD, was honored as the 2022 National Student Teacher of the Year. The award was given by Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society in education and the Association of Teacher Educators.

“I am so thankful to have attended Baylor University,” Blackwell said. “Baylor faculty and my mentor teacher did a wonderful job of encouraging me and pushing me to be my best. I went into my first year of teaching feeling so confident in my teaching abilities. I am beyond thankful for Baylor’s education program and all those who helped mold me into the teacher I am today.”

The National Student Teacher of the Year award recognizes one student teacher/intern annually who has demonstrated the ability to plan and develop classroom management skills and instructional strategies that support all students; establish interpersonal relationships with students, parents, faculty and staff; and reflect powerfully on their student teaching experience.

Blackwell is the second honoree in four years who’s graduated from Baylor’s School of Education, with Lauren Hornbeak, B.S.Ed. ’19, receiving the award in 2019. 

During their senior year, Baylor education majors teach in local classrooms for more than 100 days during the school year. The Texas state requirement for teacher certification is 70 days. Baylor students also teach in local classrooms four mornings a week during their junior year.

As a Baylor senior, Blackwell was recipient of the Lorena B. Stretch Award for Outstanding Student in Elementary Education. Additionally, she has several family members, including her mother and both grandmothers, who are teachers and school-based professionals, and she plans a long teaching career for herself.

“I love teaching,” she said. “I almost always leave the classroom fulfilled and eager to return the next day. My students are so fun, and it’s so amazing to get to watch them learn and grow.”