The 2017 Teacher of the Year Winner!

 Enid Roitman, of Toronto Ontario Canada, was awarded the 2017 American Bridge Teachers Association (ABTA) Teacher of the Year at the ABTA Summer Conference in Toronto. 

Enid Roitman, from Toronto Canada, taught elementary school for 34 years, before beginning her 2nd career as a bridge teacher, at the Fairlawn Neighborhood Centre where she teaches 4 to 6 classes per week, with 3 sessions per year, along with golf and country clubs, private groups in homes and the Royal Ontario Museum.

As an elementary teacher, she participated in a program called “Reading Buddies,” where her Grade 3 students were paired with Kindergartners each week and read to the younger ones. All the children loved the program and it inspired her to teach bridge to kids as an extracurricular activity, which she organized and taught for 10 years.

She called the program “Bridge Buddies” and even held tournaments for the children at Barbara Seagram’s bridge club, the Kate Buckman Studio. Here, experienced players volunteered to play with the children for an afternoon. There were prizes, refreshments, and trophies for the winners. Her students went on to participate in 1995, in the first ACBL School Duplicate Bridge Tournament, which took place across the US and Canada.

In 1999, Enid began teaching bridge on cruise ships. In a letter from Gerry Fox, the owner of Grand Slam Cruises, he stated the following:

Enid is simply perfect for cruise teaching. She has a long history of retaining just about everyone who crosses her path, on the ship. She is a star performer and marvelous ambassador for the game of bridge, setting a standard that is very difficult to emulate. “

Enid’s teaching philosophy is (quote)

to make my students feel comfortable, and to help them have fun learning. I do not encourage people to memorize anything that they don’t understand. I do lots of reviewing and I try to keep things simple. I recognize that people have different learning styles, and often concepts need to be presented in a variety of ways.”

Enid regularly participates in fund raisers for Wellspring Medical Center in downtown Toronto. She maintains an active part in her community, cares about her students and according to one: “is a gifted teacher with a wonderful sense of humor. She maintains a welcoming atmosphere in every classroom, is talented, thoughtful and sensitive. Along with lots of teaching experience, she has taught thousands of students.

Her advice to us?

Be prepared, encouraging, kind, and patient. If you ever notice many "deer in the headlights" looks in your class, you are going too fast. She suggests that from time to time all teachers take a course in something that they know absolutely nothing about. This is a very humbling experience, and it gives an insight into what your students are feeling and how vulnerable they are in your classes.

You can read more about the ceremony from Sally Sparrow's blog at bridgeblogging.com.

 

2017 ABTA Teacher of the Year

Images from the 2017 ABTA Teacher of the Year ceremony at the Toronto Convention.

 

The other finalists were recognized at the Conference:

Robert Barrington, New York, NY
Joann Glasson, Pennington, NJ
Bruce Greenspan, Bonita Springs, FL
Josee Hammill, Toronto, Canada
Henry Meguid, Durham, NC
Jim Ricker, Knoxville, TN
Kathy Rolfe, Lake Winnebago, MO
Grant Robinson, Dublin, CA

 2017 Teacher of the Year Committee:   Barbara Seagram, Larry Cohen, Mary Jane Orock, Tina Radding, Kathie Walsh, Chairman, Joyce Penn