OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Maggie Porter spent more than 30 years as a teacher but even in retirement, she can still be found in a classroom.
Twice a week, Porter tutors an eighth-grade AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) class at Narcoossee Middle School. But it’s what she does outside the classroom that earned her this week’s Getting Results Award.
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Porter often attends student’s extracurricular activities like plays, sporting events and musical performances. Tracy Nedd, the AVID Coordinator at Narcoossee Middle School, says she relies on her.
“Not only have I relied on her professionally, but personally,” Nedd said. “Her and I have similar philosophies of education and the belief in the whole child.”
Porter agreed. “I think we are a good mix,” she said. “We want to see students come in and make progress.”
AVID is a student-centered learning program where students work together to problem solve. Nedd and Porter work as a team, offering classroom guidance to improve critical thinking skills.
“So today AVID students are working with goal setting,” Nedd explained as she made her way around the classroom, stopping at each table to check on progress. ”What type of AVID student do you want to be this year?” She asks. The students wrote down adjectives that best described their goals.
Porter sat with another group gathered around a whiteboard.
“I’m basically the guide on the side, they’re the sage on the stage,” she said with a smile.
Porter started as a volunteer at Narcoossee Middle School eight years ago. She’s now a paid part-time employee.
“These kids are just amazing. And this program really is something that I love to do because we teach the kids how to become citizens of the world,” Porter said.
“Maggie goes above and beyond what I would consider a regular tutor would do,” Nedd said, explaining why she nominated Porter for the News 6 Getting Results Award.
“She becomes invested in them socially, emotionally, she supports their extracurricular activities and she steps in when possibly a parent can’t attend their outside events like plays, drama, theater, chorus or band,” she said “She’ll even bring flowers for kids who have lead roles.”
Porter tells us it’s all part of creating a well-rounded student. She gets as much out of the sessions as the students.
“They really teach me every day,” Porter said. “I feel like I may work with them academically but they become my mentors and tutors in the world of technology, which I sorely need,” Porter said with a laugh.
“This is what life is about, this is what we do. You always hope that you’re going to make a difference and when you’re recognized for it, it’s exciting.”