Michelle Nielson – Vineyard Elementary

Nov 17, 2015, 8:05 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2021, 6:11 am

When an 11-year-old would rather go to school than leave for a family vacation, it makes a parent wonder what is going on. So I asked my 5th grade daughter, “Do you not want to miss school because it is too hard to make up the missing work?” and she replied, “No! I don’t want to miss a day because Mrs. Nielson makes school so fun!” For this reason, and so many more, it is my pleasure to recommend Michelle Nielson as the KSL Teacher Feature. Mrs. Nielson expects and encourages accountability in each of her students and motivates them to reach their goals. Whether the student in her class is below grade level or is advanced academically, she pushes that student to do their best and to improve in the classroom. Shannon Cluff, another parent, said, “When my son started 5th grade, he had never really picked up a book to read on his own. Throughout the year, Mrs. Nielson has encouraged him to find something that he would love to read. Together they found a book series that my son loves. He won’t put it down!” To encourage reading, Mrs. Nielson has each student in her class set a monthly reading goal. If the student reaches their personal goal, they can attend a class party that revolves around a monthly theme. The students are excited to attend these parties and work hard to reach their goal. Johanna Bernardi, another parent said, “I was able to be involved in the Thanksgiving reading party. Students that met their reading goal attended the party with an assignment to bring food that was really eaten at the first Thanksgiving. Mrs. Nielson taught the students about manners that were expected during that time period. For another party the students had a Lewis and Clark experience. Mrs. Nielson taught them how to leave trails and track and taught them specific aspects of these historical events. She has gotten my child excited about reading every day!” Mrs. Nielson’s ability to motivate her students is evidenced by the fact that one month the students set a goal to read 930 minutes and at the end of the month they had read 37,080 minutes! Mrs. Nielson takes a personal interest in each of her students and truly loves each child in her class. Jenna George, who has had two students in Mrs. Nielson’s class, wrote that while her son was in Mrs. Nielson’s class he made it to the district and regional science fairs. Mrs. Nielson supported Jenna’s son by going to the display the night before the event and leaving notes and treats as a surprise. Jenna said, “I couldn’t believe it! The science fair was an evening event and after a long day at work Mrs. Nielson took her own time to leave my son a message. I was touched and knew that this teacher truly loved my child.” Mrs. Nielson loves learning and shares that joy with the students she teaches. It is no wonder my daughter would rather spend the day with her teacher than leave early to go on a family vacation! Mrs. Nielson is amazing and so deserving of the Teacher Feature award.

–Andrea Paxman

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Michelle Nielson – Vineyard Elementary