She persevered when things got hard

We strive to honor all our staff and the difference they make in the lives of our students each and every day. We love to see how they celebrate all the special moments in student achievement, however big or small. It’s funny how something that may feel like another day of teaching can be a pivotal moment in a child’s life, especially with excellent teachers. Deb McMann, 4th Grade teacher at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science is the perfect example of this.

Joslyn - 3rd Grader at WMAES
joslyn – 4th Grader at WMAES

Every month, Ms. McMann awards a Student of the Month, and she recently named Joslyn this month’s recipient. This month’s character trait was perseverance, and Ms. McMann chose to nominate Joslyn for a very special reason. Ms. McMann said she believed Joslyn deserved this award because,

“Joslyn truly demonstrates what it means not to give up and keep trying even when things are hard.”

To Joslyn, this award means more than just recognition. You see, before Joslyn enrolled at WMAES, she was told she couldn’t learn. At her former school, the teachers told her mom that she was autistic and not capable. Yet, Ms. McMann never stopped believing in Joslyn. Every day, she pours her love and support into Joslyn, and SHE persevered when things got hard. I wish Ms. McMann could see the messages that Joslyn sent me when she found out she won the award.

“This award is yet another reminder to Joslyn that she is capable of great things, and we are grateful for teachers like Ms. McMann who remind all their students of their potential.”

Ms. McMann and Joslyn

We all know how hard this year has been for teachers and school staff, but they continue to persevere and expect greatness out of all of their students. Because of Ms. McMann, Joslyn wants to be a teacher when she grows up to help kids who struggle in school just like her. Joslyn will grow up and graduate someday, but even years from now when her grandkids ask her who her favorite teacher is, her answer will be Ms. Deb McMann. 

Who was a teacher that never gave up on you or your kids? Don’t forget to send them a note of appreciation this week.

Story written and shared by Sara Mooney, Chief Communications and Development Officer at Choice Schools and Joslyn’s aunt. (Joslyn gave permission to share her story.)