Burlington teacher named 2024 Teacher of the Year

Teacher Aziza Malik – Courtesy Vermont Agency of Education

Vermont Teacher of Year Aziza Malik was among the honorees at the 2024 Outstanding Educators Day held at the University of Vermont’s Dudley H. Davis Center on Nov. 14.

A fifth grade teacher at Champlain Elementary School in Burlington, Malik is known for partnering with community members and local institutions to connect her curriculum to the real world. Her teaching helps students to engage with the local Indigenous population. She has also worked to revitalize the school’s community garden.

A graduate of UVM’s Leadership for Sustainability master’s degree program, Malik is also a current member of the Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy at Shelburne Farms in partnership with UVM.

“I want every single student to feel like they belong,” said Malik in a recent interview with Vermont Public. “I have been working to create those moments where we feel like we belong and we’re proud to share who we are. If we don’t have that, we don’t have anything.”

Hosted by the UVM’s College of Education and Social Services (CESS) and the Vermont Agency of EducationOutstanding Educators Day honored 84 educators from school districts and supervisory unions across the state as well as Vermont’s incoming and outgoing Teacher of the Year.

2023 Vermont Teacher of the Year Robyn Newton provided an inspiring and interactive keynote address to the honorees and assembled guests. “If you elevate teachers, you elevate learning,” said the Vergennes Elementary School Physical Education Teacher. “I am humbled to have represented you this year on my Teacher of the Year journey.”

Newton, a 1995 graduate of UVM, spoke about the importance of bringing joy to the classroom. “Without joy we can’t learn. Without joy we can’t find a purpose. Without joy we are just flat out boring. When all else seems to be failing, remember why we teach; it’s for the joy of learning, for the joy on our students’ faces, it’s for the joy of having fun and smiling and laughing.”

For more than four decades, UVM has hosted the annual ceremonial event recognizing outstanding educators from school districts and supervisory unions throughout the state.

Categories: Education, Press Release

7 replies »

  1. While I’m certain Aziza Malik is an outstanding teacher, her standing is diminished by this recognition from what amounts to a mutual admiration society. Clearly, all of the boxes have been checked… except for one. Student outcomes. As usual, this recognition is all about the educators, not the kids.

    • I agree, and would like to know if her students have mastered reading, math, and science skills at grade level. Sounds like a lot of her emphasis in the classroom are adjuncts, much of which is parental responsibility. Students who are learn the subject matter will have a strong sense of belonging and success with that achievement.

      • According to Vermont Smarter Balance Data for 2021, 57.8% of Champlain Elementary School 3rd graders were proficient in Reading & Writing. By 5th grade, 57.1% were proficient.

        In Math, 57.8% of Champlain Elementary School 3rd graders were proficient. By 5th grade, only 45.2% were proficient.

        While Champlain Elementary School scores are slightly above State averages, the scores indicate that the longer the students are in elementary school, the worse their performance becomes.

        To be fair, 9th grade scores at CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UHS #15 are much better. 80% of 9th grade students are proficient in Reading & Writing. But only 47.1% of CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UHS #15 9th graders were proficient in Math.

        In general, and typical with Vermont as a whole, approximately half of Champlain Elementary School students, on average, are proficient in Language Arts and Math This despite the investment of about $25,000 per student each year in the Vermont public school system. And 2022 scores for Vermont as a whole are worse.

      • “….remember why we teach; it’s for the joy of learning, for the joy on our students’ faces, it’s for the joy of having fun and smiling and laughing.”

        So school is really day camp, where nobody has to “work” or “apply themselves” or, God forbid, have “discipline”. As per Jay’s numbers, liars don’t figure, and figures don’t lie.

  2. With UVM in control, what could go wrong? Look at the outstanding job they do in health care – as long as you are obedient and comply with the lies – it’s all good in their book (off the books as well!)

  3. This award has for many years now, honestly, been for the “WOKE teacher of the year”. Just saying…..