Ms. Marshall has dedicated time and her talents towards educating hundreds of first grade students over the past 15 years, and I feel privileged to have my daughter as one of her students this year. While meeting with Ms. Marshall during our first grade orientation at the beginning of the year, she told of her past history as a West Jordan Police Officer. She explained that while serving in this position she dealt with individuals who could have prevented deviant lifestyles had they experienced a more enriching childhood. This realization was a turning point in her occupational career, thus leading her towards becoming an influential educator by helping young children obtain a positive self-esteem in hopes of preventing delinquency in later years.
Upon entering Ms. Marshall’s first grade classroom, one might hear: “Ahoy Pirates, please sit at your desks and get your pencils ready for this week’s spelling test.”
“Aye Aye Captain!” the students reply in unison. The classroom is decorated with pirate themed pictures and phrases to help make the environment fun and educational, but also provides a basis for unification among the classmates and teacher. At the end of each school day, Ms. Marshall has the students line up for dismissal and together they recite a cheer, which says,
“In this classroom,
We do 2nd chances
We respect each other
We keep our promises
We never give up
We encourage one another
We laugh often
We are captains and leaders.”
I feel this creates a great sense of unity and camaraderie with the students in this classroom, while building a safe learning environment.
Ms. Marshall does an excellent job of using a variety of teaching methods in helping her young students learn and retain information she has taught. Because the early years in elementary school lay a foundation in learning for many years to come, Ms. Marshall writes creative songs and chants to help them remember rules and guidelines for reading and math. My daughter comes home daily singing these songs while completing homework assignments.
Every Sunday afternoon my inbox chimes with a notification of Ms. Marshall’s weekly news. She provides positive feedback from the previous week and outlines skills students will be enriching throughout the upcoming week. Any special events or new subject lessons are detailed for parents so that we can discuss these topics with our children, creating an opportunity for dialogue about their educational journey. I feel such communication between the parent and teacher is vital for helping students succeed!
Each year Ms. Marshall and the first grade team sponsor a canned food drive for the Utah Food Bank during the months of November and December. This encourages community involvement among young citizens and teaches the importance of giving in times of need. At the end of the drive, Ms. Marshall has the students sort and count the cans as a math activity!
I am so grateful to have Ms. Marshall as a teacher at Jordan Ridge and especially as my daughter’s teacher. I appreciate her hard work and dedication in taking her role as an educator seriously and going the extra mile to make my daughter feel important and successful. It is no wonder that she was chosen to be a mentor for a student teacher this year. I couldn’t think of a better role model for someone who is seeking such a committed career as this one. I am truly grateful for her effort in making the students feel safe, loved, and successful leaders.