"I thought, 'We're going to have a 'National Geographic moment.' I hope it's not too gross!"
Teacher Sarah Kuehne shares a favorite classroom story, recalling a camping trip where she thought she was about to see an alligator eat a bird.
"I'm standing there thinking oh, my gosh, what's going to happen to the heron?" says a very animated Kuehne.
And just as she thought she was about to witness an attack....
"As he gets there he goes (she takes a step) and that was my 'National Geographic' moment!"
It's a favorite story of Kuehne's third-graders at Fairview Elementary.
Stories parent and classroom volunteer Kathleen Worley say make Kuehne a great teacher for her daughter Shelby.
"She makes her feel confident and strong and smart," says Worley of Kuehne's effect on her daughter. "A lot of kids these days have to be reminded of that. And, she reminds them every day."
"I never hesitate to make a fool of myself, to sing or to dance, because I'm not so important that I can't just make a fool of myself and be funny," says Kuehne.
Kuehne says being real and sharing fun parts of her life are meant to help her students have the confidence to tackle the more challenging parts of third grade.
It seems to be working.
"In class, I came to her one day when we were practicing multiplication cards, and she actually explained it to me," says Shelby, recalling how she used to struggle in math before Ms. Kuehne.
For Shelby's classmate, Jase, reading and writing were bigger struggles. "If we had to write after we read a book, I wasn't really good at that. After she explained it really well in 3rd grade, it helped me, and I understood it better."
"Giving them that confidence, hoping to build that confidence in them so that when they go forward they still have that with them. That's my goal," says Sarah Kuehne.