Think back to the first grade: the projects you did, the friends you made. Well, when Washington Academy third-grader Evelyn Valdez thinks back, she remembers her favorite teacher, Mrs. Angela Manalli.
Evelyn is glad to spread the word that Mrs. Manalli's the best teacher around.
"When I went to my grandma's house, my mom's just like, 'Evelyn, I nominated Mrs. Manalli for your favorite teacher!' and I just started screaming all around," Evelyn described.
Manalli says she relates to Evelyn, who was shy in her class.
"Well, I was very shy as a student, too, when I was younger," Manalli said. "All my teachers always said 'She never speaks or anything,' so I kind of connect with those students. I kind of feel, I don't know, like I want them to do a little better than I did in school."
Now Manalli wants her students to feel comfortable and enjoy learning, and it's obvious they do. During my visit, they showed me their class toads, new iPhone projects they're working on, and a bug collection.
"They think it's really disgusting, but then they start to warm up and there's bugs crawling on their shirts and their heads," Manalli said. "You don't really want them to do that, but yeah, it's fun."
From digging for rocks to creepy bugs, Manalli says she can't imagine doing anything else.
"No. Oh no, this is too much fun."