Our teachers are amazing, which is why we share the story of a school’s Teacher of the Year every week ... please help us celebrate 2022 Bascomb Elementary School Teacher of the Year Rhonda Ryder!
Bascomb Elementary School Teacher of the Year Rhonda Ryder centers her teaching philosophy on the whole child.
For 28 years, she has ensured her students mastered learning standards, but also learned to believe in their own possibilities and to care more deeply for others.
The fourth-grade teacher years ago implemented tenets now central to CCSDcares, like morning meetings and lessons about kindness and service. Her care for her students shines bright, and has led to miraculous change. One parent shared how, through Ms. Ryder’s care, first as his after-school tutor and then as his teacher, her “essentially non-verbal” son began to speak. “I’ll never forget the afternoon she called me in tears of joy to say he had led a class activity,” the mom said. “She forever changed my son’s social abilities.”
Behind her well-crafted lessons is significant work by Ms. Ryder to blend specific standards, with real-life applications, service and fun. For a unit on opinion writing, students studied the issue of animals in captivity. They conducted research and wrote an opinion essay. But the lesson didn’t stop there, as students then created campaign posters and commercials and held fundraisers. They adopted stuffed toys as “desk pets” and formed class rules for care. They created Minecraft and Maker Space animal sanctuaries. They took a virtual trip to an elephant sanctuary. They then held a schoolwide vote on the issue and learned the difference between the popular vote and the electoral college.
In her own words: “My beliefs about teaching were demonstrated at every stage of this unit. Education is about bringing learning to life and taking lessons outside of the classroom to make a lasting impact by developing a sense of empowerment with how our actions as humans can create a brighter future for today and tomorrow.”
Special thanks to our 2022 Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration's Presenting Sponsors: Cherokee County Educational Foundation, Credit Union of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton.