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Emmet Bowen named Union Teacher of Year

Originally posted March 13, 2014


Emmet Bowen named Union Public Schools 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year

Emmet Bowen, a fifth grade teacher at Peters Elementary School, was named the 2013-2014 Teacher of the Year for Union Public Schools during a reception today at the Union Performing Arts Center. All of the Site Teachers of the Year were also honored during the reception.

 “Teaching allows me to share my love of learning with my students,” Bowen said. “The most rewarding moments for me as a teacher are when my students are so excited about a subject that they seek to learn more on their own and then want to share what they have learned with the class.”

When he graduated high school, Bowen never considered going into the field of education, Bowen admitted. “I entered college as a journalism and political science major due to my interests in news and government. However, I soon discovered that what I liked most about journalism was the process of gathering information and presenting it in a manner that made sense to others.” He decided to become a teacher while working in before- and after-school programs at a neighboring district. “I had always considered myself to be someone with great intellectual curiosity, so when I saw this same curiosity in the kids, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.”

Bowen began teaching at Union in the fall of 2009 as the Native American teacher at Moore and Peters, tutoring students in reading and math.

“I am often asked by my students why I have chosen to work at Union,” he said. “What I appreciate most about the district is its forward-thinking approach to education. Union teachers are not satisfied with the status quo and embrace a student-centered philosophy of teaching. At the same time, district leadership stands behind their teachers by vocalizing the value of public education.”

One of Bowen’s major goals this year has been to increase discourse in his classroom. Bowen said, “To accomplish this, I continually encourage students to explain their thinking, justify their reasoning, and provide evidence to support evaluations and conclusions. I think some of the most valuable learning experiences in my classroom come from students sharing their thought processes. In reading, this often takes the form of grand discussions where students intensify their interpretations of texts through conversation with classmates.

“In math, I teach my students that mistakes are valuable learning tools that give us the opportunity to examine our problem-solving methods and discover new ways of thinking. I try to create an atmosphere where all thoughts and ideas are valued and explored. I have found that this environment of safe discourse gives students the confidence to push their thinking to develop deeper understanding.”

Bowen believes one of the most important issues facing students today is developing habits of learning at a young age.

“When I was in elementary school, college was one of the farthest thoughts from my mind. In today's competitive economy, however, college and career readiness has become essential. As an elementary teacher, an important part of my job is teaching students to become responsible, goal-oriented citizens. In my classroom, I stress that learning is a process, not an end-result.”

Bowen attended the University of Oklahoma, majoring in journalism and political science, before switching gears to pursue a career in education. He graduated from Northeastern State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Bowen intends to pursue a master's degree in education in the near future.

A Special “Thanks” to the following sponsors for their generosity:

Paradise Cove Marina

Wendy’s   ~   Arvest Bank   ~   Starbucks

Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association  ~  Mardel
Dave & Buster’s   ~   Brothers Houligan

Mahogany Prime Steakhouse   ~   Cookies by Design

Spiffy Spoons   ~   Honeybaked Ham   ~   Jason’s Deli

CrossFit Eclipse   ~   Philbrook Museum   ~   Which Wich

Texas Roadhouse   ~   Panera Bread

 Notable Notes   ~   Nails by Shonda Jacofsky

The Melting Pot   ~   Rustic Cuff   ~   Russell Stover

Smash Burger   ~   Sonic   ~   Krispy Kreme

The RedZone  ~  U-Wear Store   ~   Barbee Cookies

Weister Smith, Arkansas Valley Petroleum