A local middle school teacher says she gets great joy out of watching her students grow up before her eyes.
Laurie Mayer is one of our Golden Apple Award winners.
She's been teaching for 6 years and is currently at Willowbrook. She says the best part about getting to school every day is watching her kids actually understand a topic.
"That light bulb moment, as cliche as it sounds, really is just such a wonderful feeling and knowing that students have grasped some concept and that they get it and that they're working hard, and that all of their efforts have paid off. It's just amazing," Mayer says.
She says it's especially apparent in her Spanish classes.
"When they come to me as sixth graders, they know maybe 'hola' or 'amigo,' some food terms are really common that they know, and then we put together a full sentence, and they do a mini conversation or they have a skit in front of the class that they perform. They say, 'I never knew I could do that!'"
Watching them grow up from sixth to eighth grade, from her point of view, she says is a huge difference.
"Most of the sixth graders are still shorter than me and by eighth grade, I'm looking up to them. Just being a part of their lives for 3 years is so special and watching them mature and finding out who they are and what person they're going to be, and just watching their personalities, it's amazing to be a part of."
Best of all, she says, is preparing them for the next chapter of their lives: high school.