Andrew Lovell – West Side Elementary
Yes, I am his wife but let me tell you why my husband is the best teacher I have ever known in three unbiased paragraphs.
First, my husband teaches to inspire students. On the first day of school, he commits students to memorize and live by the “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost. This poem transforms the way students think throughout the year and has encouraged students to form and run their own service projects in the community and to go above and beyond what is asked of them. Two years ago his class alone raised near $3000 for the Utah Foster Care. Last year he challenged his class to raise even more. His class fundraised $4000 for the construction of libraries in Uganda and then he spent his own savings to travel to Africa and build the libraries for 5 weeks in June of 2017. He took pictures, used Facebook Live, and took videos so that he was able to show students the impact of their project from beginning to end.
Second, my husband is not a worksheet teacher. Every test, PowerPoint, and handout he uses is personally made and tailored to the needs of his students. His math PowerPoints include real life sixth grader problems, situations, and includes students names to make learning more “real”. He challenges students to ask, “Why do we need to learn this?”, “When will I use this in real life?”, “Why is this important to me?”
Third, you will never find an environment that is more “safe” then within the confinements of his classroom. In his class, students are praised and rewarded for sharing their mistakes and errors in the classroom. Students thus benefit from learning from one another’s mistakes and he reports that these errors are rarely made again. He also uses his personal time, before, during, and after school to create clubs and councils to make sure all students have a place where they fit in (this includes Dungeons and Dragons club, Westside Association of Magicians, and Student Council).
The other day a student had his dad pull over as he jumped out of the car to greet him as we were taking a walk in the neighborhood. He lives and teaches by the following motto, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. His students not only know that but they feel that.
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