Martez Favis - 2014-15 Dougherty County School System Teacher of the Year Finalist
Martez Favis, a teacher at Sherwood Acres Elementary School, is one of eight finalists for the 2014-15 Dougherty County School System Teacher of the Year Award. Favis explains his teaching philosophy and memorable moments as an educator. The award will be presented in a ceremony on April 17.
ALBANY — Dougherty County Teacher of the Year finalist Martez Favis knows first-hand the pain of growing up with an absent father, but he had a support team which helped guide him along the way.
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“I was fortunate enough to have an amazing team of caregivers who had high expectations for me and would not accept anything less.” Favis, a science and social studies teacher at Sherwood Acres Elementary, said. “That team was comprised of my mother, my godmother, relatives, family, friends, mentors, and more importantly, teachers. All of my life, people always told me I would grow up to be a teacher or a preacher. I did not believe either occupation would become my reality. I had dreams of becoming the world’s greatest entertainer. Those dreams eventually changed though.”
Favis obtained his B.A. in Theater at Albany State University and was aiming for his MFA in acting, however, those plans changed drastically due to extenuating circumstances.
“Those same words I heard growing up came back into my ears — ‘you are going to be a teacher when you grow up,’” Favis said. ” Almost five years later, I am still here working in the classroom. I did not understand the power of education until I became a teacher that I realized the lasting impact that a quality education leaves on students.”
Favis decided to turn his pain, mixed with love, into power.
“Neglect is a hurtful thing, but I used my hurt and pain (of having an absent father) to help lessen the effect it has on those who come after me,” Favis said. “However, love is a powerful thing and it helped me overcome. My godmother was a certified teacher and was the epitome of love. She was a special education teacher who had just as much love for her family as she did for her students. No matter how selfish I wanted to be, I could not turn my back on the calling that is my life.
“I was born to be an educator.”
In the classroom, Favis lives by a simple creed — teach the child, not the lesson.
“I inspire my students to be better than they were the day before,” Favis said. “I work by the motto ‘teach a little, learn a lot.’ In my past five years as a teacher I have learned that I don’t know very much at all. My transparency gives them a real example of what overcoming obstacles really looks like.”
In addition to his B.S., Favis also holds an M.Ed. in curriculum from Lesley University.
Dougherty County’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year will be announced Thursday at a banquet at Hilton Garden Inn.