Student Nomination Story

Mrs. Danean Schulze has changed my son's life. While she does a lovely job teaching all subjects, what she has given my son, Connor, is the gift of insatiable reading. He has never had a thirst for books like he has developed in Mrs. Schulze's class. He doesn't dread homework because he knows that he will be given time to read for homework. He started off the school year just reading picture books for the most part because he said the images "take up pages." Within a couple weeks of school, though, he started reading novels without pictures and loving it. Mrs. Schulze gives the children time to read during the day, which my son loves because like meditation, it quiets his mind. And the children share with each other what they're reading, so it makes for a fun learning environment. He has been reading grade-appropriate works now and passing his readings tests with mostly 100s. In fact, Connor has read over ten novels (each from roughly 400-600 pages!) by Rick Riordan just this school year. Mrs. Schulze has the children respond in writing to what they're reading, so my son's writing has improved as well. Thanks to Mrs. Schulze, he even made what he thought was impossible--the Million Word Club, which is earned when children have reached not only reading 1,000,000 words of reading, but they have to show they comprehended those words in Accelerated Readers tests. The end of the school year is coming up and my son has long since surpassed his AR goal and the million words, and yet, he continues to read out of pleasure because Mrs. Schulze has set up this environment for the kids. As a teacher myself, I know how powerful the love of reading will be in Connor's life. It will make his education from here on out far more digestible. And he has become quite quick-witted this school year. Connor's mind is always making connections in life to the mythologies he reads about, and it has been a relief and joy to see him come out of a rough couple years loving school even more. It has been so tough to teach during the pandemic, but Mrs. Schulze has created a safe, inspiring environment for kids. Thank you, Mrs. Schulze, for all you do for the children. You have no idea the lasting impact you're making!

Connor M Shiroishi

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