This collection of inspiring educators includes a teacher who was willing to make a drastic change to teach one of her students an important lesson, and two teachers who have used innovative technology to improve the quality of learning for their students. We hope you enjoy! And as always, tweet us @enrichstudents to tell us about teachers who have inspired you!
Trevor Todd is a 3rd-grade teacher at Castle Hayne Elementary School in North Carolina. According to Principal Sam High Smith, this bowtie-sporting teacher truly cares about his students, and “ensures they’re learning what they need to be prepared for fourth grade.” And he does so in creative ways, like using the lyrics of a Katy Perry song to teach kids about various literary devices. Watch the video and read more about what makes him an outstanding teacher, and what’s behind all the bowties.
One elementary school music teacher in Darby Pennsylvania was honored for his dedication to helping kids appreciate music. Andrew Kruc was named the 2019 Phillies All-Star Teacher. Says school Principal Joseph Williams, “His impact and getting these kids to appreciate music and really to dig a bit deeper into their own personal gifts has just been tremendous.” And his students showed their appreciation too, keeping the award a secret until a surprise school assembly was held in his honor. Watch their enthusiasm in this video.
Verizon recently recognized two teachers for using tech to enrich their students’ learning. Tom Wolken teaches robotics, and helps students unleash their creativity. “My goal is building capacity in students,” he says, “I can’t teach them to be creative, but I can teach them how to use tools [to help them] express their creativity.” In his first year teaching robotics, it’s been Wolkens own excitement and passion for STEM learning and innovative technologies that have inspired students. Samantha McCarthy is a math teacher. She uses technology to simplify and stabilize learning for her students, and go a little further too. Her goal is to help students become intrinsically motivated, especially for many of her students who have experienced trauma. “When you have high expectations for yourself and someone who respects you has high expectations for you, you tend to rise to the occasion,” she says. Read more about these remarkable teachers, how they’ve been able to use technology, and how their students have made tremendous improvements.
Teachers make all kinds of sacrifices for their students. But in the case of one kindergarten teacher, this was more than the time spent after school or hours of class prep work. Shannon Grimm, teacher at Meador Elementary School in Texas, cut her hair to match one of her students. Why? Prisilla, the student, was being bullied about her new haircut. Grimm says "I told Prisilla that I did it for her and I wanted to show her that it didn't matter if you had longer hair or shorter hair. It matters what's inside and that she's a caring, silly girl." Read more and watch a video about Shannon Grimm, and other inspirational teachers in this article.