This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Aaron Moselle for NewsWorks
When it comes to teaching, Catherine Michini is exceedingly humble.
In fact, the longtime math teacher said she felt funny receiving the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Award this week. The honor is handed out each year to one teacher at each of the city’s public high schools.
Being singled out is just not her style.
"It’s definitely an honor, but no teacher is an island," said Michini, who has taught at Germantown High School for two decades. "It’s a collective job."
Teaching at a soon-to-close school
For Michini, that rings especially true at Germantown High.
The teaching staff, she said, must play a more hands-on role with students. It’s an easier effort to handle as a unit.
"At Germantown, many of our students are at the stage of development where they’re just seeds or seedlings," said Michini. "So it’s our job to provide the nutrients for the soil so they can grow strong and healthy."
That’s part of the reason why the Lindback award is also a bit bittersweet for Michini.