WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Every teacher’s goal is to make learning fun for kids and to get them excited about going to school.
Today’s A+ Teacher is creating that enthusiasm for learning with her own songs. And she works around the clock to help her kids.
Gale Shrader teaches 3rd grade at Brigham Academy in Winter Haven. She uses songs, chants, and association to help her kids learn.
“I know that all children learn differently, as well. They learn through visualization. They learn through songs. They learn though kinaesthetic. So even with our songs, sometimes we’re using our hands to make the different motions,” Shrader explained.
“Plus it gives a little more enthusiasm in the classroom because they like doing all of these motions and sometimes I act silly with them. I”ll try to put some enthusiasm in with it. So the’yll say, ‘You know Ms. Shrader: I really like our classroom. I really like coming to school and that’s what I strive to do. I try to inspire them,” she added.
Shrader has perfected her teaching style over her 31-year career in the Polk County School District. And creating songs takes a lot of planning on her own time.
“She’s always here late,late, late,” said Lynn Boland, Brigham Academy Principal. “I come a lot on the weekends, and I can’t tell you how many times I’m here at 9-o-clock at night and I see her car. She puts in tons of hours and does an amazing job.”
Shrader said she would do whatever it takes for her students — her children.
“I tell my students at the beginning of the year. I say you are my children right now. I say we are here to learn together,” she expressed. “In fact, some of them call me mom sometimes. They’ll forget and call me their mom and I say that’s okay because we’re really together longer than what you are when you’re with your paretns. We’re a family in here. We’re in here to learn together.”
After more than three decades in the classroom, Shrader will retire in the spring.
“Parents are going to miss her like crazy. She is defintiely a sought after teacher,” said Principal Boland.
For more A+ Teacher stories, click here.