At Mills River Elementary School, teacher Ryan Mitchell brings his high energy to his second-grade classroom, an energy that keeps his students loving learning, right on through the pandemic.
As the students pop balloons filled with math problems, Mitchell, a teacher of ten years, is in constant motion, cheering them on.
"I’ve just always had this much energy since I was a little kid, and my parents just kept putting me in sports hoping I would burn it off, and I never would, always just really fired up, no coffee required," laughs Mitchell.
Mitchell’s natural energy was a big hit with Sarah Pruett’s daughter when she began the school year virtually.
"She was super excited just to even get onto the computer, because he was right there, teaching his heart out, teaching with such energy and enthusiasm," Pruett recalls.
Now, back in the classroom, more fun, as the students chant, "Fire! Fire! Haley's on fire!" a common cheer for a student who is doing a very good job.
But, there are also quieter moments, as Mr. Mitchell makes sure all of his students understand the lesson.
He says giving each of his kids time is key.
"When you make that time for a kid and they know you are really into what they have to say, or you are really invested in their extracurricular activities, then they understand you really care about them," explains Mitchell.
"I like how funny he is and how we do things," says student Haley.
Both Haley and her classmate, Eli, said Mr. Mitchell's fun teaching has made them smarter.
"I know multiplication a little bit, and I know more problems better," says Eli.
"It’s the best feeling as parents to see that excitement and engagement with your child in school," adds Pruett.
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