Ukiah Unified is proud to announce that Tiffany Chez Robinson, Pomolita Middle School Language Arts Teacher, has been named Regional Educator of the Year by the California League of Middle Schools (CLMS) for Region 1. The award is given annually to California middle school educators who exemplify educational excellence and have made significant efforts to implement elements of educational reform. Nominees may be teachers, administrators, counselors, or certificated personnel.
“Chez is a terrific educator. She is a teacher leader developing and sharing resources for other teachers. Chez is well-liked by peers and kids, caring and empathetic, well planned and forward-thinking, always challenging herself to do the best she can,” commented Pomolita Middle School principal Bryan Barrett. In alignment with health protocols, regional winners like Chez were honored at a virtual event this year. One regional winner will be announced as CLMS State Educator of the Year. Ms. Robinson was nominated for the award by principal Barrett along with Pomolita assistant principals Jim Evans and Jon Dewey.
A diverse range of teaching skills and abilities made Ms. Robinson stand out among a strong field of competitors for the award. In her more than 20 years of teaching, Chez has made a positive impact in the lives of many students. She has co-taught with resource teachers in multi-level classrooms, tackled both designated and integrated EL classes, and is always up for the challenges of any Honors program, ensuring that students are engaged and motivated. At Pomolita she is integral to the Gifted and Talented Program (GATE).
Chez’s love of English literature and writing, and constantly striving to discover and implement the latest technology in her classroom make her amazing. Her peers point out that she is a YES teacher, always open to new ideas from students and teachers. Her students are highly engaged and love the environment she creates. Chez has clear student expectations and she makes her students’ success her main priority, and many of her students readily express that she is their favorite teacher.
During the pandemic, Ms. Robinson stepped up to the plate for students and teachers. She conducted virtual technology training for both groups loaded with resources and content suited for 6th through 8th graders. She shared digital tips & tricks, assisted with signing teachers up for Google Classroom, and shared how-to videos from her classes. All the while she patiently built community and relationships with individual students, spending one-on-one time with many for tutoring or just listening.
Beyond the classroom, Ms. Robinson is a leader within her department and school-wide. She’s involved in all aspects of transitioning to Common Core, facilitating Professional Learning Communities, and leading technology innovations on campus. Chez has a Master’s in Digital Literacy & Online Learning from The University of San Diego, her undergraduate degree is from Eureka College, and her teaching credential came from UC Berkeley. She uses her knowledge and experience to help students, parents, and teachers every day. “I received my two-year Master’s Degree while teaching full-time. It was rigorous, but everything I learned I could go right into my class and use it,” she said.
Ms. Robinson has a new kind of empathy for students; digital empathy! She realizes that children are constantly required to learn new digital tools and concepts every day, and that can be tough. Even before the pandemic, children were frequently encouraged to pick up new digital ways of learning. She has also gained a new appreciation for the struggles of her students’ families who have so many more commitments during the pandemic. She connects her teaching to the students’ real life. Innovative, flexible, caring, and kind, Chez Robinson is the California League of Middle School’s 2021 Regional Educator of the Year!