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November Top Notch Teacher

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Reading, writing and math are just some of the lessons students have to learn when they go to school. But in Mr. Sam Bina's 3rd grade class, students are also taught some valuable life skills like how to keep it cool and let the little things go.

For Mr. Bina, being an educator is more fun than it is work. "Sometimes I feel like I'm the biggest kid in the room," said Bina.

He's taught at Harry Spence Elementary for 7 years and everyday he lives for those moments that catch his eye.

"If you're taking something that is typically something not fun to learn, but when they start doing it and you see a click, then you know what you're doing is working and you can just see it in their faces."

Bright and early every Thursday morning, you can also find him leading a sea of students on the safe route to school. "The Walking School Bus is an excellent way for students to excited, active and motivated for learning before the bell rings."


So whether it's the Walking School Bus, playing learning games or singing songs, Mr. Bina tries to help students succeed in every way.

In Mr. Bina's class, 3rd graders like Landon Manock learn more than just the usual reading, writing and math. "And he's taught us how to play it cool and let it go. You play it cool by if you're worried about something , just don't worry about it, don't freak out," said Manock.

Mr. Bina doesn't stop there. He's even inspired former students like Anna to become a teacher and it all started with a little motivation. "Well when I came into 3rd grade I didn't like to smile and I was all serious and everything. So one of my goals going into 4th grade was smiling more and not being as serious. He said earlier today that I was smiling more now than I was back in 3rd grade," said former student Anna Lord.

But at the end of the day, Mr. Bina's the one who feels lucky. "A teacher can make a kids day all the time but guess what it goes both ways, kids can make a teacher' day too. They really really can and that's why we're here every single day," said Mr. Bina.

Teaching also runs in the family for Mr. Bina. His dad spent nearly 30 years as Logan High School's band director.

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