2020 National Teacher of the Year
Tabatha Rosproy was an excellent student – so eager to learn, that in fact, she asked to go to summer school. As a child, regular classwork wasn’t enough, and teachers worked to give her additional enrichment activities to keep her engaged.
Those activities, including stepping in as temporary substitute when the teacher had to leave the room, were her first taste of what it was like to be a teacher and set her on a path that decades later lead to the honor of being named 2020 National Teacher of the Year.
Tabatha’s work with young children started early. She was working as a babysitter by 13, often bringing crafts and activities for her young charges, and forming a sort of “Babysitters Club” with friends to look after multiple families at once. In high school, she taught Spanish to local preschoolers as part of a dual credit college class. There, she observed the excellent teaching of “Miss Pat,” who didn’t condescend to the young children she taught and was instead a partner in their learning, inspiring Tabatha to join the field
Tabatha is well-known for helping to create a unique preschool program that is housed at Cumbernauld Village in Winfield, KS, a retirement community and nursing home, where the four-year-old students interact every day with community residents, who serve as volunteer “grandmas” and “grandpas.”
The “grandparents” read to the children one-on-one every day, and join the youngsters for music activities, field trips and games. Tabatha taught in this setting for 3 years and it is her hope to spread this idea all over the country.
Now an 11-year veteran teacher, Tabatha has transitioned into a new role as an early childhood support teacher at Olathe school district in Olathe, KS, where she coaches and supports early childhood educators across the second-largest district in Kansas.