Mr. Flox is a teacher that IS a TEACHER. He is not teaching for the paycheck or the accolades. He is not seeking out awards or recognition – he just thrills in seeing the light go on in a child’s eyes when they understand a concept or express an idea. He fosters a comfortable learning environment where the children feel confident in expressing ideas and making connections between abstract concepts and real life. He utilizes parent volunteers to facilitate creating smaller groups within the classroom for working on difficult math concepts or for reading and comprehension activities that are consistent with their reading level. Outside of these groups, he has the entire class read a novel at home with their parents. The class then discusses vocabulary, science, social studies, and comprehension activities associated with the novel, as a whole. This allows every student to feel just as smart and as included as the next student regardless of their reading level. He uses repetition and practice in a fun way to learn difficult math concepts. He also teaches the students incredible art. Many students and teachers walking past his classroom have seen the masterpieces hanging in the hallway and question whether or not the students in his class learn anything other than art. It is true that his class always has an art project that they are working on -but the students are learning much more than simple drawing. In one art project the students learn:
1- How to follow directions in a specific order
2- How to be creative within a framework
3- How to have pride in themselves and what they can create (he taught them to roll their art work, never fold it – he laminates their work so that it will last the test of time – he picks out specific parts that each child did well and compliments them in front of the class)
4- Basic art principles such as perspective, line, shading, blending
5- Language skills as they write a “Mad Lib” or a paragraph about their art work
6- History about artists that inspired the work they are replicating or about the time period their inspiration comes from
7- The added benefit of increased neural pathways in the Language area of the Brain.
I cannot express fully what a difference this teacher has made for my daughter. She has found a self confidence that I have never seen before in her – each time she shows us her art work or discusses the classroom novel that she is reading. Every parent hopes that their child can someday find their inner selves and be proud of who they are. Mr. Flox is the type of teacher that helps children on that journey.
I thought that maybe I was biased because of the drastic turn around that I have witnessed in my daughter. As I have talked to the other parents in the classroom – each one feels the same way I do. In fact, if it was possible for him to move up to third grade with our students – we each would select the track that he is assigned to just to allow him to continue to teach our children.
Mr. Flox has brought many years of experience to this year and yet he continually learns from the students and is excited at the new connections they can make for him. He developed the novel units that he uses in the classroom to fill in the gaps in reading and comprehension instruction that he has found in his many years of teaching. Even with all these incredible scholastic talents that he brings to the classroom – the talent that means the most to me is his ability to inspire my child. My child has translated this inspiration into all aspects of her life. She practices her piano without argument, excels in her dance and swimming competitions – her attitude about everything has completely changed. Mr. Flox believed in her, encouraged her, and gave her the skills so that she could be proud of herself. He personifies everything that “teacher” is supposed to be.
— Leighann Gilson
Mr. Flox is the most talented and inspiring teacher I have ever come into contact with. Through his musical and artistic talent, Mr. Flox has inspired 30 very lucky 2nd graders to learn far beyond what they knew was possible. He thinks out-of-the-box which is so refreshing and welcome. He has turned our children into scholars and they don’t even know it because they are having so much fun. His talent, knowledge, understanding, enthusiasm and love for our children is unsurpassed. He continues to “WOW” all the entire school with our kids art projects and knowledge. He has personally inspired my son and has turned him into a child that loves to read. He has brought him up 2 grade levels in reading in a short time and even has the reading aides asking him for advice. He is the most talented teacher and we think he deserves to be recognized for his dedication to our children. A teacher like him is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are so thankful for his love for our children.
Mr. Flox is an incredible 2nd grade teacher. He is currently teaching our kids about Van Gogh. The kids just finished recreating 3 of his masterpieces, Starry Night, The Postman, and Sunflowers. Mr. Flox also has a dummy that the kids love.
— Kathryn Oehlerking