Leslie Guthrie almost didn't end up in the classroom. She graduated college with an Art degree, but fell in love with teaching after helping out as a substitute. "I love it as much today as I did 24 years ago."
Guthrie quickly sought her teaching certification, but she still finds ways to work her artistic side into the classroom. "Like in our problem of the day we use a lot of pictures and models and drawings and I incorporate it in that way."
Guthrie loves teaching children to read and helping them master new concepts in math. "We want them to think more and think deeper and be able to tell why/how they're doing the problem and why they're doing it that way."
She works in small groups to learn each students strengths and weaknesses, while the rest of the class works independently. Early in the school year, she teaches them "flashy fingers" to maintain focus and cut down on interruptions. "1 finger means I have to go to the restroom, 2 fingers means I have to ask a question, 3 means can I get out of my seat, 4 means I like what we're doing," says Emma Hendrix.
Homeroom parents say Guthrie's commitment, care, and inspiration brings out the best in children. Students simply say, she's the best. "She's awesome, she's a really cool teacher," says Luke Graham. Shelby Parris says "I love her, because she's the best teacher."
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