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Calvin Purser – Windridge Elementary

Calvin Purser has changed my son’s life. My son entered 4th grade after having suffered depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and shutting down due to severe bullying at a different school. The school change proved to be the best choice. I was working so hard to figure out how to help my son; he would do his homework at home with great resistance, despite his high intelligence and then check out mentally when he got to school. He wouldn’t turn in completed homework, he would often just start reading and ignore everything in the classroom, he was afraid to take off his coat in the school even in the hot months. I had worked with caring teachers the year previously and my son had started to improve but it wasn’t until that first phone call from his new teacher, Mr. Purser asking me, “I want to understand how this little guy works. What are his interests? Is there anything about him you want to tell me?”

I was deeply surprised, touched and relieved that he took time from a very busy schedule to contact one parent personally.

Through continued reports almost weekly, of contact via email & phone calls I was able to see what was going on after my son arrived at school. I could follow up and talk to him at home about his progress and struggles that Mr. Purser would observe and report to me. He cared about my son and took the time to get to know Steven, he encouraged him and drew him out with common interests and of course humor. Most importantly he didn’t give up on Steven and write him off. He could see that something wasn’t right and that he was more intelligent than he was letting on. Due to Mr. Pursers efforts, contact and reaching out, by the end of the year Steven was turning in homework independently, his scores went from the 60% to 100%, Steven was smiling, comfortable in the classroom, making friends, raising his hand and commenting in class. I noticed it at home too, the change back to his fun, more relaxed intellectual self. He was less stressed and confident in his ability to do his homework-which he had less of I might add!

Our family is deeply touched and filled with gratitude for the hardworking efforts of Calvin Purser that proves that when one person reaches out miracles can happen. Please consider him for the Teacher of the Year award as I am certain he reaches out to many, many, many of his students each and every year. I also might add that he implements very interesting and creative ideas in his classroom that really engages the students and fuels their desire to learn.

Thank you also for doing the Teacher Feature-it brings me hope and joy to hear of the beautiful stories about so many amazing teachers out there doing an incredible work in a very thankless job.

–Carmie Golightly