While in college, this Illinois teacher's mentor shared a one-word philosophy for teaching middle school. Her students and their families are grateful.

Congratulations to 97ZOK's Teacher of the Week

Caroline Martin from Pecatonica Middle School in Pecatonica, IL.

One-Word Philosophy to Teaching Middle School Students

Caroline shared a story on the phone with me about one of her professors at Rockford University and the philosophy he shared that she uses in her classroom.

Middle school is such a hard age because you are kind of forced to be a little bit more independent than you have been and parents have a hard time letting go to let their child make their own mistakes and kind of move forward and what they need to do. I think that WITH the teacher, WITH the parent, WITH the kid, it can be a lot easier than it has been for others. For myself personally, it was hard in middle school to kind of find myself. It's such a rough age and there's a lot going on in their young lives. I think the word WITH encapsulates the whole thought of how we should be bringing up our middle schoolers.

Caroline was nominated by one of her colleagues who also has a daughter in Caroline's class.

Being a teacher is hard work, believe me, I know. I am a teacher myself. However, teaching middle school though is a whole different beast! I was so nervous when my daughter left the elementary school and headed down to the middle school. She has been down there now for almost 2 years and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about all of her teachers. This year, Mrs. Martin has made such a HUGE impact on her! What makes Mrs. Martin stand out... she embraces the whole child. She gets to know them, takes an interest in the things that matter to each child, and leaves each child feeling valued. This year she has supported my child as she continues to navigate middle school. I can call down to her room (since we work in the same district) and ask her to check on my daughter. She has called me on the weekends and outside school hours to communicate with me about my daughter. She makes learning fun, holds each child to high standards, but remembers they are still children by giving and showing grace. One Saturday, after my daughter had a rough couple of days, Mrs. Martin went to Rosie's, my daughter's favorite little coffee shop in town, and purchased her a gift card to help cheer her up. She went above and beyond. She goes above and beyond for all her students!

Teacher of the Wek-Caroline Martin Pecatonica Middle School
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As Teacher of the Week, Caroline was surprised with a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and a gift card to WM Day Spa Salon.

Click HERE to nominate your favorite to be 97ZOK's Teacher of the Week

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