Rockford IQRA School teacher, Mrs. Mona Afzal, doesn't consider herself any different than her fellow co-workers. But after a nomination letter and a surprise visit, she feels pretty special, as our Teacher of the Week.
"I've always wanted to be a teacher," Mrs. Mona Afzal says. "Always. It's just been a very clear goal ever since I think I was in third grade."
Now, 13 years into her teaching career, she couldn't imagine life without it. As a first grade teacher at Rockford IQRA School, Afzal's goal is to make the transition from kindergarten to first grade a smooth one. Small changes, make it a big step for the students.
"There's definitely no more nap time," Afzal laughs. "The kids don't like that. It's a full day, but it is definitely an adjustment from kindergarten. It's more into academics. Even though we have a nice little mixture of trying to have fun too while we're learning, but it's the grade where they actually get their As, Bs, Cs and hopefully that's it."
To keep those grades up, Afzal makes everything hands-on. From math manipulatives with coins and shapes, to science projects and reading. It's the variety that peaks their interest. But for her, it's the kids who keep her coming back.
"They're six years old and they're innocent and they look to you to go ahead and make their day better, however their day may have started off," she says. "So yeah, when I come in, it's the kids' faces that I love to see."