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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.

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,...

“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...

‘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...

Director takes joy in teaching student musicians, ‘to see what they can do and...

Band director Greg Wells grew up as part of Northview’s proud tradition, in a family of music educators, and feels honored to carry it on

‘Soul of Northview’ Says Students Are the Reward

Ted Burba loves to swim, and he’s good at it. He twice won the state diving championship as a student at East Grand Rapids High School, and in 1960 swam the last 50 yards for EGR’s state-champion 200-yard relay...

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...

She chose music over medicine, and her students are glad she did

Wendy Tenney Tenney is one of 10 Michigan educators who were named as 2018-19 Regional Teachers of the Year...

Helping Teen Parents ‘Go As Far As They Want to Go’

It had been a week since Robert Brant met with Shelley Bauer, a teen parent educator, and he had big news. He could now begin visiting his nearly 2-year-old son by an estranged former girlfriend. “How do you feel about this?” Bauer...

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...

‘She will fill your bucket if you are empty’

This art teacher provides a solid skill base, then encourages her students to infuse their work with elements of their own lives. And she shares her own, which she says creates a safe space for them to reflect...

Teacher Challenges Students to Think, Take Risks

Mike Swift flipped off the lights in his eighth-grade language arts classroom. He momentarily went into the hall, cracked open the door and peered in, staring. His students shrieked. Swift had created an image they are not likely to forget...

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...

Her overarching goal: to teach that American ideals are worth striving for

Rebecca Debowski witnesses and guides her students as they learn to look at things in a more nuanced way and respect what one another have to say, from every perspective...

Part Silly Adult, Human Monkey Bar; All Kindergarten Teacher

Gerald Neff sits on a kindergartner-size table at the front of his classroom on a recent morning and welcomes his class to a new day. "Morning Georgia! You're wearing a dress. Are you getting married today?" he asks a youngster...

‘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...

Michigan art teacher of year makes all subjects ‘artful’

Art teacher Adrienne DeMilner brings art into all subjects and areas at East Kentwood Freshman Campus and out into the community. She was recently awarded 2018 Michigan Art Educator of the Year and Secondary Art Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Art Education Association...
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