Mandy Manning is a teacher at the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington and the 2018 National Teacher of the Year. All are immigrants who come to Manning with varying English abilities. While she has the responsibility to teach her students foundational English, her real job is to help those students transition to living and studying in the United States. Mandy emphasizes the importance of connections in her classroom. She states, “It doesn’t take very long to connect with another human being, it just takes a moment of individual attention. As educators, why is that important? You have to make connections with your students and help them connect with one another.” After she finishes her term as National Year of the Year, Manning plans to return to her classroom – unless she is elected president of the Washington Education Association.
"I have to be outspoken beyond my classroom in order to meet the needs of my kids because I have to protect their rights to an education."