Mainland teacher of the year says learning is a two-way street

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LINWOOD – When Bernadette Daley was 4 and her four older siblings would rush off to school in the morning and leave her to entertain herself, she would spend her empty hours pretending to be a teacher.

“I loved school growing up,” Daley said. “From the time I was very young I knew I wanted to be a teacher.  My favorite subject areas to learn were math, English and history.”

Last month the grown-up version of that little girl was named Mainland Regional High School teacher of the year.

Bernadette Daley, Mainland Regional High School teacher of the year, works with student Elyssa Brezel on a logo design for her artwork. Brezel is an independent study student in Daley’s honors graphic arts class.  Bernadette Daley, Mainland Regional High School teacher of the year, works with student Elyssa Brezel on a logo design for her artwork. Brezel is an independent study student in Daley’s honors graphic arts class.

The Absecon resident has taught at the school for more than 10 years. She teaches courses including web authoring, advanced web authoring, digital imaging, graphic arts independent study, action scripting with flash and a freshmen seminar. She has also taught technology careers and personal finance courses.

Daley grew up in Linwood and attended Mainland.

“I like the fact that many of the teachers I had as a student at Mainland are still here teaching,” she said. “I love pointing out to them that they have been here since I was a freshman.”

She said she always knew Mainland was where she wanted to teach.

“It was my goal when I became a teacher,” she said. “I believe I felt this way because of the solid education I received as a student and also because of the genuine care and guidance teachers offered. I feel I truly am lucky to be back working with the very same teachers that created a wonderful high school experience for me, and that also inspired me to become a teacher.”

She said she enjoys teaching digital imaging the most and watching the students create their own projects.

“I love Photoshop and teaching the students how to create original logos and graphics along with making someone look like a movie star,” she said. “I also really enjoy teaching lessons in my advanced web class with Flash. A culminating project involves the students creating animated cartoons in Flash. This involves intricate work drawing the images, and I also show the students how to record their voice to add original audio dialogue to their cartoon. It’s a very fun project with many learning moments.”

She said her students always remind her of the most important skill when working with computers.

“My students have taught me that when dealing with technology, sometimes the best thing to do is laugh,” she said.

For the next generation of teachers, she suggests that they try to pinpoint what they most enjoyed about school, what teachers they feel did the job well and what is the most appealing thing about the profession.

Daley said she followed the same process and found through practice that the best thing about being a teacher is the interaction with students.

“Students and teachers share a two-way street,” she said. “We are forever learning from each other.”

Daley lives with her husband, Raymond, and son J.T. She holds degrees from Salisbury State University and The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Bernadette Daley, Mainland Regional High School teacher of the year, works with Photography Club students J.T. Griswold and Sam Matlick during lunch.  Bernadette Daley, Mainland Regional High School teacher of the year, works with Photography Club students J.T. Griswold and Sam Matlick during lunch. Bernadette Daley, Mainland Regional High School teacher of the year, works with student Jackson Glassey on his website. Jackson is in the advanced web authoring class. Bernadette Daley, Mainland Regional High School teacher of the year, works with student Jackson Glassey on his website. Jackson is in the advanced web authoring class.


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