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Becky Alexander is a first grade teacher with the Summit Preparatory School of Southwest Missouri. She was nominated for this series by a parent who says Alexander "Set my child up to absolutely love learning".
For KSMU’s Sense of Community Series, I’m Mike Smith. While visiting Becky Alexander’s first grade class at the Summit Preparatory School of Southwest Missouri, I noticed the posters some would consider timeless teaching tools for first graders like ABC’s, vowels, and numbers. But I was surprised to see a poster about basic geometry shapes. I certainly wasn’t exposed to geometry when I was in first grade, but Becky Alexander says the more she can expose her 15 students to, the more they can learn. She says “Their minds are like sponges”.
Alexander says her goal is to make her classroom function like a community. “So it’s not MY classroom, it’s their classroom” says Alexander. She says she doesn’t want the focus to be on her as the teacher, but on the students instead.
This edition of the KSMU Sense of Community Series IS focusing on Becky Alexander though as she was brought to our attention by Amy Vaughn whose son Brady was a member of Alexander’s kindergarten class last year. Amy Vaughn says when she heard of KSMU’s call for nominations of teachers to highlight for the series, she thought “You know I do know a teacher who in my life who has made that huge difference. Who has set my child up to absolutely love learning, and it’s such a gift to an entire family to have a teacher be that way”. Vaughn says Alexander has a “gentle way to reach every kid in her class”…Becky Alexander says “At the Summit, we foster a team approach to learning so that the parent, teacher and student are all on the same track toward learning”.
Karen Sweeney, Head of School at the Summit Preparatory Schools of Southwest Missouri, says “Children know the teachers who really care about them, love them, and are not just interested in working with them simply because it’s their job, and one of our very stellar teachers here at The Summit is Becky Alexander.”
Becky Alexander tells KSMU that a couple of teachers she studied under made a positive impact on her. “The first teacher that comes to mind is Mrs. Blanchard, my fourth grade teacher in Kirkwood. She was very excited about teaching and she loved the kids, which is so important to know that you’re loved and important as a child. Her style of teaching was very calm, and she respected her students and they respected her. When I went to college, I student taught with Mrs. Bartlett. She was very inspirational to me. I followed a lot of her lead. She was amazing, and all the kids loved her. And again she was loved by the kids. That’s what I try to remember, along with what I would want as a parent for my child”. When asked the most important lesson she can teach her students Alexander said “To be good citizens in the world, and how to function, and keep on learning. To learn something every day”.
For KSMU, I’m Mike Smith.