Wendy Reeves - 2015 Nominee
Newton Excellence in Education Award
TEACHING FROM THE HEART
Wendy Reeves is a teacher with a big heart for helping students to be successful. Her passion drives her energy and commitment to using the most current research-based teaching techniques to deliver math knowledge to 5th grade students to prepare them to be successful in a changing world.
Math problems to be solved and concepts to be learned are introduced by brainstorming with students about the real-world ways that concepts apply to them, now and in their future. She uses real world examples and analogies from her everyday life, to demonstrate why math skills and life skills support success. She reviews numeracy skills seamlessly while teaching new concepts within a real world context, encouraging students to make connections that grow the dendrites that form and reinforce learning.
Motivating students to be successful in our changing world is not limited to content. Wendy relates many classroom routines to real world tasks and problems. For instance, she likens walking in a straight line in 5th grade to driving in one lane on two-lane highway, or checking out at Walmart. The standard for using excellent table manners and behavior in the school cafeteria is likened to dining at a nice restaurant. She often calls upon 5th grade students to be the leaders that lower grades look to as heroes and models.
Wendy incorporates situations that arise into teachable moments holding students accountable for excellent character. She tells her students, “I love you too much to let you put forth anything less than your best effort.” Then she follows through and proves it. She delivers her very best to students and expects them to invest their very best effort in learning. Her passion and high expectations, manifested in consistent, patient, care, love, and loving discipline, inspires her students. Students that have a history of failure try hard to earn her respect, knowing that she is fighting with them.
Wendy frequently organizes learning into learning stations that engage students, build curiosity, increase engagement, and differentiate for learning differences.