The best teachers create classrooms where students succeed.
That’s the case for Kerstin Westcott of Green Bay’s Washington Middle School. She is one of this year’s Golden Apple recipients.
In Westcott’s sixth grade classroom, the students know their teacher is special.
“She’s the teacher of my dreams. If you’re very smart or not, she makes you feel amazing and confident whenever she’s around you,” said sixth grader Grace Schumacher.
“She makes learning as fun as possible. I just enjoy being in her class,” said sixth grader Noemi Santiago.
The lessons may be fun, but they’re not necessarily easy, but Westcott’s students have a habit of succeeding.
“I always tell them my standard is here. And you can rise to meet it or you can stay down here. And if they know that I think they can, then they’ll go for it. And they succeed everyday. They’re amazing. They’re little rock stars, I tell them,” said Westcott.
Westcott has been teaching reading and writing at Washington for six years. She says she treats her students like young adults, and to them, that matters.
“Well, because she knows how to work with everyone. She knows how to cooperate with everyone. And I give her the same respect back, too,” said sixth grader Jason McGee.
“And everyone wants her as a teacher, because, well just the things she does in her classroom are great. And she loves everybody and everyone loves her back,” said sixth grader Alyssa Babik.
In Westcott’s classroom, there’s a lot of group activities. Working together helps the kids get to know each other, learn the lesson, and learn from each other.
“This is real life. This is how the world works. You have to be able to work with all different kinds of people, and get along with them, and complete a job and be productive,” said Westcott.
“I think why she won the Golden Apple is, because she is the golden teacher. So yeah, I like her a lot,” said sixth grader Christian Toonen.