Student Nomination Story

We are new to Tulip Grove Elementary School and my son, David, was nervous about going to 3rd grade in a new school. Before school started, I reached out Ms. Balsam and shared that with her, her response was very comforting: "Making sure everyone has friends is my favorite part of teaching! Academics are a close second of course." She is helpful and responds promptly to every communication that I send her. Overall, the 1st two weeks of distance learning has been AWESOME! Ms. Balsam is AWESOME! Her online classroom management is matchless. She is engaging, kind, and patient. From 8am until dismissal, I don't have to worry. Even when the kids are working on assignments, she is there to help them and answer any questions. She uses all the technology well and patiently waits for everyone to get where she wants them to be. She is great at time management. Honestly, for our family, this distance learning program has turned out to be phenomenal! From Day 1, my student was learning and happy about learning. She makes it a point to give each student an opportunity to help or respond to questions. As a working parent, it is wonderful to know that my student is learning just a much (or even more) than he would in her physical classroom. Quite frankly, the last school year in distance learning made me hesitant that a distance learning program could really work. I would admit that everyone everywhere was in reactive, crisis mode. The Tulip Grove Elementary School Administrative and Teaching staff did a phenomenal job to ensure that this school year would be different. I really appreciate the school for having a fun themed "Popsicle & Pick up day" to add smiles as we picked up our textbooks and Chromebooks. They also hosted a Parent Orientation as well as a Parent Technology Info Session before the start of school. The "Sneak a Peek" day was held the Friday before school started so the students could virtually meet the teacher and ensure that their devices were working. On that day, Ms. Balsam greeted the students with a fun ice breaker and really set the tone for the school year. The first day of school was flawless because she took the time to have her Google Classroom organized and she thoroughly explained what they needed to do. She includes brain breaks and just keeps the students engaged all day. Honestly, I could go on and on about how Ms. Balsam has changed our life. In the midst of all that is going on in our world, it is a blessing to know that my student is in a fun, safe, learning environment. She is a teacher rock star!

David Coutourier

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.