Michael S. Berndt is creating a bond of trust and respect at Prairie Center Elementary School. The Olathe, Kansas, third-grade teacher makes great strides with his kids, who thrive under his compassion, care and creativity. And their appreciation shows: His boys and girls nominated him for the "Kindest Kansas Citizen" essay contest.
Every morning, Berndt stands at his classroom door to greet students and start the day with a smile. "With the aid of technology, music and literature, students can expect a thrilling engagement to kick-start the lessons," says one of Berndt's many fans. Kids use kinesthetic movement to create pathways of learning and memory, engage in cooperative activities and make meaningful, real-world connections. Metaphors during math and averages during reading typify Berndt's interdisciplinary bent. He also works with special needs children, using balance, auditory and vision exercises to ensure that they, too, reach—and exceed—their potential.
Test scores are well above the state average in reading and math for third-grade, and his students consistently outrank their peers. In fact, they've scored a Standard of Excellence in reading and math for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Berndt is a member of the Assessing Science Knowledge team, coordinator/facilitator of the Student Improvement team and sits on the district Language Arts Curriculum and Assessment team. Grade-level ambassador and mentor to five student teachers, Berndt works with colleagues on vertical alignment and helps at the New Teacher Academy. Other principals even send their teachers to observe Berndt ply his trade.
The Olathe News | Nov 23 , 2012 | Olathe, KS
The Kansas City Star | Nov 23 , 2012 | Kansas City , MO