Being a Teacher Opens Up Opportunities For Servant Leadership 2


This week is Valentine’s Day, a time to celebrate love. In the spirit of Cupid, teachers across the nation are sending social media “arrows” at the education profession through the #LoveTeaching Week campaign. 

There is so much to love about teaching, but sometimes it can go beyond the four-walls of a classroom. Since childhood, I have been involved in community service. Becoming a teacher opened up new and exciting opportunities for servant leadership through working with kids to make a difference.

mieyebankVolunteer work and community service began for me as a teenager. I used my musical talent at my church, where I volunteered as choir director and organist. I have since volunteered for the church technology team supporting Sunday services. In college, I took my musical ability to Children’s Hospital of Michigan to work with a music therapist and help run a music group for toddler patients. The hospital setting introduced me to organizations like Gift of Life Michigan, for which I have served as a spokesperson on the importance of tissue donation. Twice receiving the gift of tissue donation through two cornea transplants, I was motivated to become an Ambassador For Sight with the Michigan Eye Bank, where I organized two indoor cycling fundraisers at my fitness club to benefit the mission of the Eye Bank.

donate-life-logoIn my time teaching in Arizona, I joined Kiwanis International and got involved in community service with them and our high school Key Club and National Honor Society (NHS.) Inspired by one of the Kiwanians who had received a kidney transplant, I worked with NHS students to hold a 5K run/walk for the benefit of the National Kidney Foundation. I have volunteered as a student club advisor for our Christian Students Club, started a Philosophy Club for students, and coached Science Olympiad. I worked with a team of colleagues to bring the Link Crew leadership program to our school and impact our school culture. Our student leadership program has helped run four different Challenge Days for our building. Involving students in service projects is perhaps the best testament to my commitment to my communities. I have taken a group of students to work a cleanup weekend at a YWCA Camp, led my classes to run canned food drives and adopt a local family at the holidays to provide them a Christmas.

As Michigan Teacher of the Year, I am organizing educational outreach events for teachers and students. I am coordinating events such as the Community Technology Learning Night where students will teach senior citizens how to use mobile devices, the Nspire Talks Conference that gives Metro Detroit students the chance to share their inspiring ideas with an audience in five-minute live talks, and a student technology fair. To serve teachers, I worked on a statewide Math & Science Partnership grant to bring Next Generation Science Standards training to teachers all around Michigan. I regularly run workshops for teachers in metro Detroit schools, present at conferences, and visit schools to consult on projects.

On my website, blog and Twitter, I share lesson plan and project ideas. Through my online professional learning network, I collaborate with teachers from around the world to provide digital professional development through webinars or distance classroom coaching. Being a member of several communities and having many great role models over the years, I have developed a strong value for active service that has transcended my work in the classroom and beyond.

As a service-minded individual, I #LoveTeaching for giving me so many opportunities to make a difference in the community.

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Gary is an influential teacher leader with extensive experience educating students at the high school and university level. He is a regular conference presenter, education speaker, and leader of staff development for educators. His classroom practice embraces a collaborative environment centered on constructivist teaching, project-based learning, classroom branding, Modeling Instruction, standards-based grading, and mobile device technologies.

About Gary G Abud Jr

Gary is an influential teacher leader with extensive experience educating students at the high school and university level. He is a regular conference presenter, education speaker, and leader of staff development for educators. His classroom practice embraces a collaborative environment centered on constructivist teaching, project-based learning, classroom branding, Modeling Instruction, standards-based grading, and mobile device technologies.


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