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Rebecca Mieliwocki honored by President Obama as National Teacher of the Year

Obama Teacher of the Year

Charles Dharapak/AP

President Barack Obama presents the 2012 National Teacher of the Year award to Rebecca Mieliwocki, who teaches at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, Calif., Tuesday, April 24, 2012, during a ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington.

President Barack Obama honored Rebecca Mieliwocki as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year at the White House this morning.

The seventh-grade English teacher, hailing from Burbank, remained modest during the ceremony.

"I am not the best teacher in America. There isn't one. Every day here in America, teachers with patience and creativity are opening doors for students to reach deep within themselves to learn more, to solve problems, to grow and to nuture their dreams, and that we do this work with conviction — that's not unusual. It isn't even rare. It happens in America's classrooms every day and I need you to know that," she said.

Obama said Mieliwocki maintains "big expectations" for her seventh-grade class, but remembers that "school should be fun."

Mieliwocki is known for inspiring and motivating students, often using the Socratic method of questioning to stimulate students' critical thinking and create dynamic lessons.

The president noted that the teacher hosts family nights, sends out weekly memos to parents and maintains a Facebook page for her class.

Obama and Mieliwocki were joined in the East Room by winners of state teacher of the year awards.

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