This month's Top Notch Teacher first started a career in nursing to fulfill her love of working with families and children. But, she soon realized her calling was a career in teaching.
Each year she sets a foundation of fun with her students so the relationships can continue for many years to come.
When kindergartners enter Mrs. Bemis' classroom they're welcomed into a community of learners.103838
"I greet my children at the door. And they always have an option to give me a high-five, they look me in the eye and say good morning or they get a hug. And within the first week they're all up for the hugs. So I get a lot of lovin'," said Mrs. Deb Bemis.
Mrs. Bemis knows her boys and girls each come to school with a unique learning style, and it's her goal to accommodate every one of them.
"I make eye contact. I talk to them softly. I give them each a turn to talk. They know that they can count on that in me and because of that I can count on them to respond to me."
"Probably one of the unique things I have in my room is every month I've gone to a pet lending library and I bring in a different animal each month. Throughout the school year we've had a snake, we've had a hedgehog, we've had guinea pigs, turtles, butterflies and now we have new baby chicks."
Her hands-on learning approach makes every lesson something to look forward to.
"I just think that having animals and science and getting our hands dirty is the best learning process in kindergarten."
Aside from classroom lessons, Mrs. Bemis makes a point instill in her little ones how to care for one another.
"Greeting each other, giving eye contact, being a good friend, listening to one another. I hope when they leave kindergarten they have set their foundation of being a good friend and a community with each other."
That community she's built over the years is one of her biggest joys in all her years of teaching.
"I have had a number of children who have become friends in kindergarten who come back to me and they're in college and they're still college roommates."
What's inspiring about this month's teacher is that she'll be the first to tell you she's couldn't have made it to the top without the support of others.
"Even though I've worked a lot of years and I taught a lot of years, I learn so much from my colleagues that to say I'm a top notch teacher just puts me out there because of what they've done for me. And of course, my best teachers are my kids."
Even though the school year is wrapping up and Mrs. Bemis has to say good bye to her kindergartners, she does live near Emerson Elementary.
She shared with us that she often spends summer days on the school playground so she can have a little extra time with her students before they become first graders in the fall.
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