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Melissa Gardner

Melissa Gardner

North Grove Elementary School 
12 Years of Teaching; 12 Years at Center Grove 

To me, teaching is important because...

To me, teaching is important because of the opportunity I have to build positive relationships with so many students. As a kindergarten teacher, I get the privilege of helping students begin to build the bridge between home and school life. By incorporating memories and experiences into academics I can create a more effective learning experience for my students. As a teacher, I feel that it is important to teach my students to love school, the environment, and people around them. I want them to love coming to school every day, excited to see what adventures kindergarten has to offer. 

Teaching is so much more than just state standards; It's about building relationships, collaborating, persevering, working through struggles and celebrations, and creating lasting memories. I feel that I have succeeded in doing all of these things. 

Every year, in my class, I am excited to show my students the world of kindergarten by creating memories and taking them on adventures. It is amazing to me to see how much my students grow throughout the year. They come in full of curiosity and excitement, and as a teacher it is my job to feed that curiosity and excitement and help create a desire to learn. 

In order to do this, I try to focus on the experience. I have created many lessons throughout the year where I transform my classroom. The moment when I see their faces in the morning when they come to our classroom and realize it has been transformed makes it worth all of the time and energy. I transformed my classroom into a bat cave where we learned about bats from the 'inside" of a bat cave and we celebrated the one hundredth day of school by becoming secret agents working in a spy lab to save "Zero the Hero". In my class, we dance, we laugh, we learn; we are a community. We start each day with a special greeting at the door and we say goodbye with a hug or a high five. We can't wait to be back together to see what adventures the next day holds. 

Although this year has had to end differently than I had anticipated, I am doing my best to continue to create memories and experiences with my students. We have workout Wednesday Zooms and we Zoom every Friday to continue our Fun Friday tradition with activities such as pajama parties, scavenger hunts, or creator conventions. I am doing my best to add my own personal touch to my students eLearning experience because they deserve it. I can only hope that all of my students leave my class full of experiences, memories, an excitement to learn, and above all else, knowing that they were loved.