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Our CEO, Andrew Hart, often describes the “how” of an Oaks education to be our belief that “children thrive in a community where they are known and loved.” This belief stems from one of our Core Values: Relationships Come First. This belief also extends to our faculty and staff – that they also thrive in a community where they are known and loved. 

In celebration of our teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week, we sat down with a few middle school families in our community and asked them about their experience with our teachers over their time at The Oaks. While some families have been here for over a decade, some also recently joined The Oaks in the past few years – but all of them had great things to say about our teachers and the way that their lives have been touched because of them.

Is there a specific memory or time that comes to mind when a teacher had a significant impact on your family or student(s)?

When the girls [who are twins] started they were in two different classes, but they had never been apart before which was difficult for them. Their teachers worked together and came to a compromise that allowed either girl to go to the other’s room during naptime so that they could sleep together. It was a very good compromise that allowed them to still be together, but also find their own individuality at such a young age. 

In addition to the teachers, I wanted to mention the [athletic] coaches. When the coaches work with the girls in their sports and on their teams, they’re so attentive. When I see them coaching the girls through their events and helping them grow, it’s every bit as important to me as teaching in a classroom. 

— Ms. Holly Fraser  

How have you seen lessons from teachers extend beyond the classroom?

In the way that he deals with his peers and the way that he deals through conflict. I think it has been something that the teachers have helped develop in the classroom. Appropriate and correct responses to those things.

— Ms. Dawn Amos

What would you say the biggest strength of our teaching staff is?

The desire to see the children succeed and knowing what their capabilities are – and then letting the student know if they’re not reaching those capabilities. They gently push the student to do better in order to see and reach their full potential.

— Ms. Donna Franklin

From your experience, are there certain qualities that are consistently shown by our teaching staff? 

We consistently saw their willingness to work with us and our girls in the midst of their pain; their ability to be empathetic and their willingness to see our girls and love them. I think this stems from their first priority to just see them as persons and teach them in that way. Each of the teachers has attempted to understand them and see their uniqueness.

— Mr. Chris & Kathy Spencer 

What are some of the things that our teachers do that make them stand out to you?

So many of the teachers have come alongside us in parenting, you know, and it’s been really valuable because we need a whole village. They see a different part of my kid that I’m not able to see and they share that with us and call it out to them. And I think in regular schools you just don’t get that kind of feedback. Teachers have come around us and supported us, in both really amazing fun times and in really difficult times.

— Mrs. Erin Lemme

If you had to describe our teaching staff in just a couple of words, what would you say?

They are invested, dedicated, and the teachers themselves are grateful to be at The Oaks – and it shows in their teaching.

— Ms. Holly Fraser

I think dedicated would be one… it’s difficult to use one word to describe them, but I was going to use nurturing as well. You need different types of nurturing at different levels for different ages and they do this well. Right now, the teachers at the middle school are good at developing students’ minds, and that looks different from when they are younger.

— Dr. Chris & Mrs. Amy Eddy

Steadfast and encouraging, they have always been empathetic towards our girls to figure out how best to work with them. They were teachable and wanted to know what we did at home that was successful, so that they could implement it in the classroom. 

— Mr. Chris & Mrs. Kathy Spencer 

This is people walking out their faith in real time. And it is amazing.

— Mrs. Erin Lemme

 

Thank you to all of the parents who took the time to share about their family’s experience with us, and thank you to all of our teachers for continuously going above and beyond. We appreciate our teachers and want them to know that nothing they do is ever too small or goes unnoticed, and every effort has a deep and lasting impact – as evidenced by the stories shared above. 

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Change is always challenging, especially when it may effect your children. Please share any questions or comments you have using the form below, or by emailing me directly at ahart@theoaksacademy.org.

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