Before the school year finished, we asked members to share the “best thing to happen this year.” Throughout the summer, we will be sharing some of the great responses to lift you up, encourage you or just to make you smile. 

This year our fifth grade moved into our Middle School. The administration and staff at our middle school were incredibly supportive and welcoming. It may have been my best year in education yet. (This is year 11 for me!)  Amy McElroy, Jackson R-2 


I was talking to the kindergarteners about what to do if the smoke alarm goes off. One spoke up and said, “I would go outside, unless mom and dad are cooking. It goes off every time they cook.” I laughed until I cried.  Angela Lukehart Guest, Malta Bend R-5 


I had a student this year who had great difficulty in school in kindergarten and at the beginning of first grade. Most of the year she was crawling on the floor like an animal and building a wall around her with anything she could find. She would growl and hiss at you if you came near her. She would show her claws. She would often hide in places in the room and would not come out. She rarely did any work. She refused! She was always in a depressed mood and not willing to learn. She galloped everywhere she went and hid throughout the building.  

Well, today she trusts me, and we have built a relationship. She knows I love her and want what is best for her. She is now reading to me at a level F which is great for a child who would not read at all. She is recognizing when she is in a bad mood and asks to be left alone and has found ways to calm herself. Then we try again later, and she does the expected task.  

I am so blessed to have taught her and watch her grow and mature. It helped me learn to have patience with students who truly have a mental issue. Trusting someone in her life was so important to her! Tears of joy are streaming down my face! Tammy Hagely, Mehlville R-9 


I moved to the library after being a classroom teacher for 25 years, having only taught third and fourth grades. Therefore, teaching kindergartners was an eye-opening experience. My philosophy with reading is if they see your love of reading, they will want to follow. More times than not, I act out my read alouds. There is this one little 5yearold that comes in every time to the library and squeals with excitement that she can’t wait to hear my next story and that she loves the SMELL of the library! Needless to say, teaching littles is now one of my favorites.  Jennifer Dampf, Jefferson City