Dear KSL Teacher Feature,
Mrs. Smith is my son Taggart’s, 6th grade teacher. At the beginning of the year we were somewhat apprehensive because she had never taught elementary school before. She came to Sam Morgan Elementary after teaching English at Weber State University and Bountiful Hight School. Everyone know there is a WORLD of difference between college students and sweaty, squirmy 6th grade boys and the drama that only 6th grade girls can create! Our fears were totally in vain. Mrs. Smith is absolutely the best 6th grade teacher on the planet and her 6th grade students are the luckiest in the world.
My son Tag knows he has made a friend for life in Mrs. Smith. Recently after a long morning of uncomfortable procedures at Primary Children’s Hospital, I told him that he didn’t have to go back to school. He could just go home with me and take it easy. I was shocked and then filled with joy as he said, “Mom, I have to go to school. Mrs. Smith misses me when I’m not there. She doesn’t care how late we come. It makes her happy to see us everyday!”
She has excelled at teaching her students academics as well as beneficial life skills such as tolerance, decision making and friendship. She has created an atmosphere where all the students feel happy, comfortable and can be themselves. Not an easy feat in the 6th grade world!
Mrs. Smith has ignited the joy of learning and reading in her students. In years past, sometimes it has been a chore to get Tag to do his reading. This year, I have wept tears of joy as I have found him after lights out reading in his bed with a flashlight so he could finish a chapter and write a summary for Mrs. Smith.
Her class is currently memorizing lines and rehearsing for a Shakespeare play. It is amazing to hear the sound of Shakespearean accents mixed with children’s laughter as they happily rehearse.
She has taken the time to know each child individually. She celebrates their strengths and helps them work on their weaknesses. My son’s self worth has soared because she has valued him in front of his peers.
Mrs. Smith is very helpful to parents. Earlier this month, I was out of the country when Tag faced a difficult issue at school. I was very worried about it and because I misjudged the international time difference i called Mrs. Smith quite early in the morning! She cheerfully listened to my fears and how i thought the situation should be handled. the she calmly let me know she had taken care of it the DAY BEFORE in exactly the way i wanted! She knew I was missing my son and spent the next few minutes reassuring me that he was fine and not to worry!
Mrs Smith’s husband has beed an added benefit for the students. At the beginning of the school year, he returned from active military duty in Afghanistan. He has visited her classroom and shared a message of patriotism, service and offered a first hand look at life in another country.
6th grade parents always worry wether their child will be prepared for that sometimes scary leap from childhood to junior high school. The lucky parents with students in Mrs. Smith’s class have no need to fear. She has prepared “her kids” well. We will remember Mrs. Smith with gratitude forever!