EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Talk to any first grade teacher and they will tell you it’s a very rewarding experience. You get to lay the foundation for so many math skills and get to teach kids how to read. At Manz Elementary School in Eau Claire, the Golden Apple Award recipient is a first grade teacher with more than thirty years in the classroom.
From the look in their eyes and the cheers from the first graders at Manz, they are thrilled that their teacher, Lisa Brandt is the Golden Apple winner this year. When asked what was the most challenging part of teaching her first graders during the pandemic, Mrs. Brandt says the answer is pretty simple.
“Hugs for sure, at this grade level there is always just a lot of hugs and being close together like even when I have to work with a student 1-on-1. I can’t sit right next to them for very long, I always have to be thinking about that. And showing them what to do, you just have to be always thinking about how you can still reach them without being physically right next to them,” says Brandt.
Manz Elementary principal Adam Keeton adds Mrs. Brandt has a positive influence on her students, “There’s grace, there’s compassion, there’s empathy, the routines are in place. And kids feel safe, they’re excited to be here every day and they work really hard and that’s because of Lisa and her energy and her commitment to kids. So we may feel a unique circumstance in our world right now but you walk into a first grade classroom like Lisa’s and you wouldn’t know that anything was going on.”
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