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Mrs. Vicki Gardner – Diamond Fork Junior High School

Dear Selection Committee,

Mrs. Gardner is a creative and passionate teacher!
Hello, my name is Shalee Hiskey. I’m 15 and nominating Mrs. Vicki Gardner for the weekly Teacher Feature! Mrs. Gardner works at Diamond Fork Junior High School and is the World Civilizations & Geography teacher. She is creative, a motivator, and very passionate!

Mrs. Gardner is one of the most creative teachers I know. She always has a knack for giving us some crazy assignments!

Once we had to play monopoly in her class. First, we played it the normal way, or you could say with capitalist rules. The next day, however, we had to play with socialist rules. We had to make sure everyone was equal in everything! The third day we had to play monopoly with communist rules. This was our least favorite way because all we did was go around the board and pay taxes. We didn’t really understand the point of why we were doing it. As the game continued, Mrs. Gardner went around and if she heard anyone say something negative about the way we were playing it, she’d take our money. At first my group didn’t realize this, and I don’t even remember what I said, but Mrs. Gardner took my $500 and walked away. My group and I were astounded. We had no idea or comprehension of why she had done that! Anyway, long story short we eventually go the gist of what was going on and learned that if we were communists; we would have no freedom of speech.

Mrs. Gardner also had us do this game where we learned about India and the Caste classes there. We all had a sticker on our forehead of the Caste class. There was one person from each group taken out and without them realizing it, they were labeled as the “Untouchables.” Our assignment was that when they came back, we couldn’t look at them, talk to them, and had to completely ignore them. This was such a learning experience for all of us, to be treated so differently and sometimes, rudely. I was actually the person right above the outcasts. My Caste was also pretty much ignored, but not as badly as the “Untouchables.”

These are only a couple of examples of some creative ways that she has taught us our lessons. Mrs. Gardner has a talent for teaching. She knows how to get the message of the lesson across in such a creative way.

One thing that Mrs. Garner can do is motivate us. Not with candy or prizes like most teachers. She motivates us in a way that can’t be described. I’ll be honest, I don’t really like learning about history, but I do know I have to learn it for important reasons. When Mrs. Gardner teaches me, I WANT to learn more about history, not because I have to learn, but because I WANT to. Mrs. Gardner pushes us to the best of our learning abilities and fills us with so much knowledge. It’s true, she is a strict teacher. But without enforcing rules thoroughly, students would walk all over her. She is smart for having such strict rules because no one dares to break them for fear of the consequences. I know that in my honors class we abide by rules given and that is why Mrs. Gardner is so relaxed with us, because she doesn’t have to worry about us trying to pull a “fast one” on her. Mrs. Garner has a talent to motivate us internally.

Passion is something that I see very clearly in her teaching. Mrs. Garner is passionate for everything she teaches and she cares so much for it all. Not only is Mrs. Gardner such a passionate teacher, but she is also a passionate traveler. She teaches history, and one of her favorite things to do is to go see where it took place, what it looks like now, and if she can help in any way possible. She has traveled to all 50 states and has traveled to many more places around the world. She also cares for her students. You can see it in her eyes as she teaches, even if a kid is being a “bone head” that day. Every week she gives out a “Prestigious Penny Award.” This award is just a card with a penny taped to it and a note written from her. She gives this award to a student who she cares about immensely and has shown Abraham Lincoln-like qualities. I think it is so cool of her that even though she is so busy, she makes time to make a great significance in some of her students’ lives with this little award.

Mrs. Gardner has made a HUGE impact on my life. I hope I have brightened her days when she has had a hard day. Mrs. Gardner is so hard-working and so thoughtful and kind. She deserves this award, and I hope she gets it. If she gets it, I will be able to pay back a small price to her for all she’s done for me. She deserves her own “Prestigious Penny Award” because she has many of Lincoln’s traits and many of these traits and talents have impacted me.

I love her with my whole heart! I hope you realize the Mrs. Gardner is creative, a motivator, and very passionate. If every teacher were like her, we would all learn so much more. Thanks for EVERYTHING Mrs. Gardner! You are truly the BEST!

Love,

Shalee Hiskey