East Brainerd Elementary's Jody Conn uses life experience in the classroom

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Updated: 8/13/2012 3:57 pm
The best lessons learned in school don't always come from a text book.

At East Brainerd Elementary School students say one educator teaches them lessons for life.

Jody Conn is this week's Golden Apple Award winner.

One glance around Jody Conn's 4th grade classroom and you can see he's not your typical teacher...

Conn has only been teaching four years and he says half the lessons come from life experience, "After 911 occurred I felt as though I wanted to go back to school and make a difference... So that's what I did."

Conn traveled extensively before coming to the classroom... He says he's loved every moment since, "It's great to see them grown and it's great to see them learn."

His zest for teaching has at least one student taking notice.

5th Grader Carla Castillo reads from her Golden Apple nomination letter, "He not only teaches math, science, and reading, but he teaches about life and how to deal with it. He is a teacher to students, other teachers and parents."

Carla was in Conn's class last year.

She says the teacher is strict, but always takes the time to explain and help students understand.

Carla says Mr. Conn encourages imagination... and reaches out to those who are different, "He taught us how to be in life as to always be kind and show people what you really are, don't pretend to be someone that you're not."

In fact, Carla says she'll be a better adult thanks to the lessons in Mr. Conn's class.

Mr. Conn says it's all about teaching his students to make good choices... 20 kids at a time, "At the end of the day it's like "Wow I feel like I'm doing something good... I feel as if I'm making a difference.'"

Carla reads, "To this very day I am still his student in my heart."
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