Kayla Massey at Section High School has created a place where her fourth graders feel encouraged and loved.
“They just need somebody to believe in them,” says Kayla Massey, the Valley’s Top Teacher. “Somebody to let them know, yeah, you are going to be rewarded if you achieve these things, but it is not just about a test score, you are more than a test score.”
Mrs. Massey actually went to Section High when she was a kid, and now is helping her students have the greatest experience possible at Section High too.
“She is creative, she is kind, she loves to read,” says Riley Baldino, a fourth grade student.
“We read a lot, that is my favorite thing to do,” smiles Mrs. Massey. “The kids love when I read to them, that is my favorite part of the day.”
Although reading is one of the best parts of the school day for Mrs. Massey’s kids, they are always doing hands-on activities. They do a lot of science and art projects, and on this day they were actually growing their own peanuts.
“That is how kids learn the best, with hands-on activities, that is how they remember best,” explains Mrs. Massey. “It is better than paper and pencil, they are going to learn by doing.”
No matter what she is teaching, she always makes sures her kids are understanding the material, even if it means explaining it in a different way.
“It is always what is better for the kids,” shares her aide, Sammy Sanders, who is a junior. “Her teaching methods, whichever is better for them, she always does.”
“If there is something in math, and you just don’t get it all, she just goes over it, and makes it more easier to do,” says Riley Baldino.
She says the academics are so important, but there is something else she wants them to take away from her class when they move to the fifth grade.
“I want them to remember how they felt in my room, it’s not all about what I taught them,” says Mrs. Massey. “They’re not going to remember everything they learned in my room, but I want them to remember how much I love them and how much fun they had in my room.”
Mrs. Massey strives to make her classroom feel like home, and that is because she views her class as one big family.
“I don’t have kids of my own, so these thirty kiddos in here, they’re mine,” Kayla Massey says with a smile. “I treat them like they are my own. I don’t have kids of my own, but I do have thirty kids here at school.”
If you have a teacher you admire, you can nominate them to be the Valley’s Top Teacher by clicking here.