There are many qualities of a great teacher. Two big ones? Kindness and a willingess to make learning fun. At least that's what Marlem Diaz-Brown's fourth-graders say.
For our 50 Great Teachers project, we've searched all over for teachers like her. Which brought us to Sunset Elementary School in Miami ... and "Mrs. D-B."
But this time around, we decided to shake things up: We asked her students to do the reporting. The fourth-graders (all 26 of them!) wrote a news story about their teacher. And, extra bonus, we gave them disposable cameras to show us their classroom.
So, we'll get out of the way here and hand it over to the class:
This is Lauren Page, reporting live from Sunset Elementary and OH MY GOSH. Did you know, that my teacher, Mrs. D-B, is one of the top 50 teachers in the USA? You'll soon discover why this is so from my point of view. In my classroom 815, we learn so much which is why I absolutely love it!
Breaking news! Mrs. D-B is one of the best 50 teachers in the country. She motivates her students like no other teacher does. She also does fun activities. Read on to learn why Mrs. D-B is one of the best 50 teachers in the United States of America.
Oh I'm so tired of learning but not with Mrs. D-B. Mrs. D-B makes learning fun and cares about all of her students with equal importance. Being taught by Mrs. D-B is a privilege and to all of her students. You'll soon discover why Mrs. D-B is a great teacher.
It's a regular day at Sunset Elementary, but every day is special with Mrs. D-B.
Batter up! How do you spell "connoisseur"? C-O-N-N-O-I-S-S-U-E-R. Correct! Sound familiar? Maybe not, bit it sure does for me and the rest of Mrs. D-B's pupils. This game is called Spelling Baseball — one of the activities Mrs. D-B does with us to help us learn, improve our skills, and keep our brains fresh.
Mrs. D-B's activities are, among other things, fun and highly educational. My most memorable learning experience is Writing Idol. Writing Idol is an experience I will never forget. It is really fun, it helps us improve our essays, it will help us for our FSA's and to top it off, it has a catchy theme song.
Yeah, I know you're thinking of American Idol, but trust me, Writing Idol is a whole lot more different. Instead of 5-year-olds singing opera, we read out most recent essays.
Writing Idol is so fun because there are two judges and one host. The host will call up new contestants to read their most recent essays. The judges will hold up a number for each contestant who reads their essay. The judges explain how they liked the essay or not. Did you know that I was the first host?
As a judge, I feel like a teacher. I feel like an adult grading a student's essay. This gave me a look at how hard Mrs. D-B works which motivated me even more.
Chewbacca is our class pet. He is a humpback whale. I think you know he's not a real humpback whale but a stuffed animal. He wears a Hawaiian necklace. Every Thursday, Mrs. D-B picks a little paper that has the name of someone in our class. That person gets to keep Chewbacca for a week.
Whoever gets him has to write a journal for almost every day. This gets us HAPPY TO WRITE.
She inspires us with writing essays for a grade. This can help us write more like adults. It makes us feel like journalists.
In addition, she is a patient teacher, she helps every student learn in different ways because all of us learn at a different pace. Remember that some of the other students learn faster or slower than others. Mrs. Diaz-Brown is always there for us. I would like to say thank you Mrs. Diaz-Brown for making my learning process fun, exciting and motivating me to learn with you.
Mrs. D-B has taught me so many things in the past year, and I can't wait to learn more. Like a shoe polisher, she polished us until we shined like stars in the night sky. But of course, there is no such thing as being too bright!
I believe that Mrs. D-B teaches from her heart and not only from our books. She teaches us to be kind and she sets a great example for us. It's incredible that one person can touch so many children's hearts.
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