ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A national organization is likely sifting through the candidates to select who will win the National History Teacher of the Year award.
Randy Martin, an eighth grade Social Studies teacher at Desert Ridge Middle School is one of the candidates.
Everyday, Martin strives to give his students a unique classroom experience by getting them involved in the lessons as much as possible.
‘These kids nowadays are really kinesthetic learners so the more hands on approaches we have, the better,” said Martin.
In 2015, Martin won the Golden Apple Award and also was recently selected as the 2017 New Mexico History Teacher of the Year.
That put him in the running for the National History Teacher of the Year. Of the 52 teachers, the pool was boiled down to just ten finalists.
Martin says he was in disbelief when he found out he was one of the ten. It’s quite an honor for a man whose dream was to become a guitar player.
These days, Martin uses his passion for music and incorporates it into his history lessons at Desert Ridge Middle School.
“I dress up as a Civil War solider and come in with my banjo. We play and sing some of the Civil War songs from the time period to help the students understand what it was,” said Martin.
Teachers were selected on their creativity and imagination in the classroom, as well as their use of primary sources, like documents, artifacts, historic sites, or music.
The winner will be selected in October and will receive $10,000.
Martin says if he wins, he will use that money to further his education and buy more supplies for the classroom.