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Rockstar Teachers

There's just something about certain teachers that draws students to them in droves and keeps them checking in years, even decades later. Here, we highlight some of these rockstars of the classroom.

“I realize what a privilege it is”

Rockstar Teachers Series: There's just something about certain teachers that draws students to them in droves and keeps them checking in years, even decades later. Here, we highlight some of these rockstars of the classroom, in a series proudly...

‘My Class is More Than What I Teach Them’

At 7:45 a.m. daily, teacher Terry Blevins begins the day with his 30 audiovisual broadcasting students tooling about a warren of separate rooms stuffed with computer screens, Canon cameras, teleprompters, professional video cameras on pedestals and video monitors. In...
“He’s very energetic,” said student Evelyn Griffin. “He makes learning fun”

‘The Classroom is Why I Wake Up in the Morning’

Eighth-grader Aaron Souter touched an iPad screen to maneuver a sphero along a stairwell floor, while classmate Ryan Reszka constructed an obstacle course of ramps for the plastic robot to jump. The coding skills students need to pull off the...
Hugs from students like Allison Klimek are nothing unusual for English teacher David Lyons

‘Such Good and Such Promise in Each of Them’

Fourteen students form a semicircle, discussing in detail the meaning of a poem by Pablo Neruda, "I Like When You Are Quiet." Witness the teaching of David Lyons. He lets them talk for 45 minutes, with hardly a pause, about...

She Collects Books, and Lets Students Choose Them

English teacher Katie Sluiter's Wyoming Junior High classroom is a testament to the power of words, in the books eighth-graders eagerly grab from her library and in the writing she did to get those 1,000 popular works onto her...

After Auto Industry, He Chose ‘Noble Career’ of Teaching

David Staublin has been known to poke fun at his diminished hearing. Having grown up in Charlevoix, he said, he attended "a lot of concerts" at Castle Farms, a '70s and '80s mecca for rock 'n' roll. "And I think...

‘I show them another way, and another way, and another way’

A bank was robbed. Fifteen suspects – all middle-school staff members – had their mugshots taken, each holding a dollar bill up to their forehead. Algebra students were notified. The CSI team was waiting on video surveillance to confirm the...

Respect and Relationships Build Bonds with Students

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Bill Kennedy's AP Government class kicks off as it does on most days: with video news footage. Today it's a story about a Defense Department study buried by the Pentagon that found $125 billion...

He Pushes Students to Excel, with Pushups and ‘Geronimo!’

When it comes to encouraging students to give it their all, band director Troy Anderson says take the leap and yell "Geronimo!" By that he means hold nothing back. Blow those horns and pound those drums with gusto. "Why are you...

Fast Talking, Storm Chasing, Globe-Toting Teacher

The first thing you notice in Dave Carmichael's weather and science class is that he often carries around a globe, using it as a prop to explain intertropical convergence, polar jet streams and pressure belts. The second thing you notice...

‘I Hope They Feel That I Love Them’

Libby Metiva’s seventh-graders were spread out in her classroom and the adjoining hallway, working in small groups on the answer to a science experiment: Why did an egg immersed in corn syrup shrivel? Some students just weren’t getting it. Metiva...

Teaching French Not a Language But a Lifestyle

As a Crock-Pot of beef bourguignon simmered, high school students in Amy Wood's class took time developing their palates for Parisian food. With a hearty "Bon appetit!" from Wood, better known as "madame," they dined on goat cheese, crusty baguettes,...

Retirement, Yes! Leave School? No Way!

For Sue Blackall, retirement is just the beginning. After 32 years and 800 pupils, the Appleview Elementary third grade teacher plans to open the book on two new projects in the district when she hangs up her teacher's hat this...

Helping Students Love Messy, Beautiful Nature

On a damp and chilly morning, two dozen children follow Greg Petersen down a woodchip path toward a thick woods. He stops them by a fenced-in pond, just where the path leads into the woods like a tunnel, and...

Kenowa Hills’ Tracy Horodyski Named Michigan Teacher of the Year

Tracy Horodyski dreamed as a child of being a truck driver, but ended up helping steer students toward their own dreams.Her success in doing so earned her the honor of being named 2016-17 Michigan Teacher of the Year. The...

Sisters Follow Identical Career Paths

West Godwin Elementary School Principal Steve Minard remembers interviewing teachers for a third-grade position. One candidate had an ideal background: an elementary education degree from Hope College and teaching experience in Honduras. Later that afternoon, another teacher interviewed with the...
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