Edward J. Silver Jr., who displays his passion for teaching by using rap in math class and songs in science lessons at Rock Hall Elementary, was named Maryland's "Teacher of the Year" last night.
Mr. Silver, 37, who teaches third-graders, received the award during a ceremony at Martin's West in Woodlawn, Baltimore County.
"I was taught that it is not enough just to live my life," said Mr. Silver, who has four children. "I was placed on this planet to make a difference in the lives of others."
Mr. Silver said his award was a "team effort" shared by fellow teachers and families in rural Kent County. He and a colleague teach 42 third-graders.
Rock Hall, which borders the Chesapeake Bay at Kent County's western tip, has 1,600 residents.
Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, and others presented Mr. Silver with a check for $3,000.
Mr. Silver, who received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Pennsylvania State University and East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University, respectively, is known for his innovative teaching style and his passion.
Describing his teaching style, Dr. Grasmick said: "I have watched his students walk blindfolded, create a class quilt, and take a trip to the moon. I have heard Mr. Silver and his students sing about science, rap to the math facts and play football at recess."
Gov. Parris N. Glendening said of Mr. Silver: "When most of us look back on our years in elementary school, we have a favorite teacher whom we will never forget, a teacher who had a lasting impact on our lives. For many Rock Hall Elementary students, that teacher is Mr. Silver."
Mr. Silver, who was selected from seven finalists, also becomes Maryland's nominee for national teacher of the year.
The "Teacher of the Year" award is sponsored by the state Department of Education, the Maryland Business Roundtable Foundation and various businesses, including The Baltimore Sun Co.