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Nationally Recognized Educator Inspires RPS 205 Remote Student

This year I have been blown away by the resilience of my second grade students and parents.

So many days I didn’t think that I could wake up and keep on going. But my students’ smiles and a kind word from parents kept me energized enough each day to keep on going.

One student and family in particular has grabbed a piece of my heart. Mar-Shawn came to my class as a struggling student who read at a kindergarten level and struggled in math and writing. At the beginning of the year he didn’t completely buy into this process, but slowly and surely his engagement and hard work improved with each passing week. When it was time for our second student-teacher conference, I was bursting with pride at the effort he had put into his class work. At the conference, we started chatting about what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said he wants to be a teacher! I told him he could be the next Michael Bonner as I showed him the book I had received from the seminar we attended at the beginning of the school year.

Mar-Shawn proceeded to tell me that “he would be better than Michael Bonner.”

This simple statement blew me away as a teacher from a struggling student, and I felt compelled to write to Michael Bonner to ask him if he could send Mar-Shawn an inspirational note to keep on going through these trying times. Michael Bonner showed up and showed out by sending me a video personalized for Mar-Shawn! When I shared this with Mar-Shawn and his family it was the single most amazing experience I have had in my teaching career to-date. Since then, our parent-teacher bond is the best it has ever been. The drive that has come from Mar-Shawn has been intense, and I am convinced that this kid will rule the world. He is well on his way to achieving his goals!

I want our community to know that these remote students have been amazing. Their perseverance, resilience and patience is 100 times stronger than any of us adults could ever dream to possess. I want others to see that now more than ever the relationships between parents and teachers have grown to a new level. I am with these families daily, in their homes teaching alongside them. What an amazing experience this has been (not easy, perhaps not forever), but an experience that will go down in history.

Sarah Grisanzio

Sarah Grisanzio

Sarah Grisanzio is a second grade remote teacher at Conklin Elementary School.

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