As a student at Westminster High School from 2009 to 2013, Abraham Bhatty fell in love with learning about technology. Now, he teaches the subject to kids in the same school system from which he graduated.
“I took all the electives available at the time in high school, so much so that there were no more classes left to take in Tech-Ed, so I ended up doing an independent study,” Bhatty said.
Now a technology teacher at West Middle School in Westminster, Bhatty, 26, recently received the Technology and Engineering Educators Association of Maryland’s (TEEAM) New Teacher Award. Carroll County Public Schools announced the honor on March 2.
The award recognizes new technology teachers with less than three years of experience for “outstanding contributions in the technology and engineering classroom and beyond,” according to the announcement.
“I was really surprised and grateful,” Bhatty said. “I actually found out through an email chain — I grew up here in Westminster and I started getting all these emails of ‘congratulations’ from a lot of the teachers I had in middle and high school — it was really cool to hear from them.”
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Bhatty began his teaching career in September 2020 at West Middle after earning his bachelor’s degree in technology and engineering education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a historically Black college in Princess Anne, Maryland.
“In Spring 2016, I went into a teacher education program in Carroll County … I started out getting my first introduction to education in the program, which ironically enough was at West Middle School — that kind of just set me on my path,” Bhatty explained.
Bhatty said his students have responded well to his teaching style, which he described as “lively.”
“I just try to keep the class entertaining, so I will sometimes make some dumb ‘dad’ jokes or horrible puns … One could argue that it’s almost more essential for students in middle school to have a more lively teacher,” Bhatty added.
As an alumnus of West Middle and Westminster High, Bhatty credits the new teacher award to the Carroll County school system, his former teachers, and his students. Most notably he mentioned Scott Tobias, who taught technology education during Bhatty’s time at Westminster High.
Tobias called Bhatty an “engaging” student who genuinely enjoyed the program’s hands-on approach.
“Abe took pride in his work and was disciplined in following procedures to build some pretty cool projects,” Tobias said. “It was awesome seeing a young man that I taught pursue the same profession and have success so early on.”