CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Dress for the job you want, right? Well, one Shenendehowa school district teacher is dressing for the job he has and in a unique way to keep the kids engaged.
If Jonathan Messinger ever had 99 problems, teaching math isn’t one.
“It’s been a big change, a big shift and to be honest, it’s been difficult,” Messinger said. “But through it all, my students are very resilient. They show up and they work hard.”
Showing up and showing out. Whether it’s a top hat or ski goggles, everyday the 6th grade Acadia Middle School math teacher is going above and beyond for his students to stay focused on what he’s teaching.
“The hook to get a student to learn has always been the craft of teaching. Once you hook them, now it’s a matter of what are they going to do with the knowledge you’re trying to teach them,” Messinger said. “So whether it’s costumes, hats or just the high-energy level as we go through lessons, it’s all about learning, meeting the student at their need and at their level.”
Though he teaches 118 students, he’s a father of five and still has time to be dad. So, whether it’s ratio’s, pre-algebra or fractions decimals and percents on his whiteboard, he’s adding life lessons to the mix.
“There’s not a day that goes by that, whether it’s my students or my kids are saying, “Mr. Messinger” or “Daddy, this is not working what do I do?” and we offer solutions whether it’s virtual or at home with my own kids,” Messinger said. “It’s opened up avenues of creativity they’ve never had before and it’s also opened up ways of problem solving that you can’t teach in a regular classroom.”
It’s not the only way he’s giving his best to his students during quarantine. He’s, safely, gifted post cards, Easter eggs and cookies for their birthdays to let them know he misses them and to stay connected.
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