I was not a good student until I found a teacher that I connected with and saw something in me that no one else ever had.
I take that lesson into the classroom today. It’s critical to make connections with students and understand what drives them. It’a also important to give them a reason for coming to school and a focus that motivates them to do well in all subjects, not just mine – automotive technology.
The small group format enables students to learn to work productively together but also gives me the flexibility to move from group to group to both make sure they understand the work but also understand why it’s important.
My students range from the kid who was caught on the roof to an AP students so it’s a good environment for kids of all abilities and backgrounds to learn to work together. And because I spend all day in my classroom, students know that this is a safe place to go for whatever reason.
You can’t teach people to care about kids – that has to be in you. And when they know you care, they’ll go the extra mile to bring you the results you know they have inside them.
About Steve Elza
Wiilliam Fremd High School Applied Technology Teacher Steve Elza was named the 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year by the Illinois State Board of Edu...