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Jaclyn Tapia – Westvale Elementary

“They may forget what you have said but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

This quotation is on Jaclyn Tapia’s First Grade class blog. I feel that this quote very aptly describes Mrs. Tapia’s relationship with her first grade students.

When my daughter started school I was disappointed to learn that many of the other neighborhood children did not attend our local school. Parents felt that Westvale Elementary did not provide the level of excellence that other schools offered. However, I felt strongly that we should attend and support our local school. Our experience this year has vindicated my feelings about the schools. Mrs. Tapia is an amazing teacher. My daughter is progressing and flourishing in her classroom and at Westvale Elementary. The principal and staff are warm, encouraging, intelligent and involved.

Mrs. Tapia maintains a classroom blog with pictures and videos from class activities. At the beginning of the school year my daughter was able to bring in a bird nest. She was so excited when we saw pictures of her and the nest posted on the blog. Every week the spelling words and sight reading words are updated and there are links to academic websites for the students to enjoy. In addition to maintaining the class blog, she takes the time to check our family blog and comment on the posts. My daughter, Abbie was thrilled when her teacher watched the video of her piano recital and praised her performance.

One of the things that I have been very impressed with is Mrs. Tapia’s ability to control the classroom. I volunteer weekly and have been able to observe how quickly the students respond to her and follow directions. She is able to maintain control without raising her voice and leads rather than drags the students.

Mrs. Tapia is very organized. She sends a paper home each day marking each student’s behavior and progress in the classroom. She has been very helpful in guiding my daughter’s reading progress. Abbie is my oldest child and her advice and suggestions are very helpful. Every day the children participate in an activity titled writer’s workshop. The student can write about anything they are interested in and draw pictures to correspond with their writing. This has been a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to write about and explore the world as well as expand her imagination.

She is enthusiastic and loving! Mrs. Tapia shows each child how much she cares about them and works very hard to be a wonderful teacher. Abbie is so happy and excited to go to school each day – she says that she would rather be in school than off-track and is worried that first grade is going to be over too soon.

Everyday after school students from past years stop at her door to give her hugs and say hello. I have no doubt that my daughter will do the same thing. Mrs. Tapia deserves all the best in all of her endeavors and any child that has the opportunity to be in her classroom will have a wonderful first grade experience.

-Erin Summers