GALESVILLE, Wis. -- -

Teachers are always facing the challenge of understanding their students.

But this month's Top Notch Teacher can truly say he's walked in his students shoes.

Jared McCutchen, a third grade teacher at Galesville Elementary, lives his dream every day.

"He's been teaching for five years, but his passion to teach started long before.

"I actually went to high school here at GET and they have a program that's a Y.S.Y. program. It stands for 'Youth Serving Youth' and I got to be in the elementary schools as senior in high school. I came and volunteered my time and I was actually at Galesville Elementary when I volunteered and I really enjoyed that," said McCutchen.

"I got interviewed at GET right out of college and kind of got my dream job. I really wanted to be here," said McCutchen.

It's clear, teaching third graders is the perfect fit.

"I enjoy everything about teaching. I really enjoy the expressions on the kids face when they know they've mastered something," said McCutchen.

McCutchen believes to make that happen, you have to create a classroom students want to come to everyday.

"I really want to make things comfortable for my students in my classroom. We create a classroom climate in here that all the students know they're invited," said McCutchen.

To truly help the students succeed, it takes more than helping them master the academic work.

"It's really the little things with students. I really think talking with them about how was your wrestling match last weekend and how did your music concert go. Things like that, the kids really enjoy when you talk to them about the things they like outside of school as well as in school," said McCutchen.

It's a philosophy that's benefited Galesville Elementary students for years and will continue to for years to come.

"I definitely want to stay in the area. That's my goal. I love it around here. The families in this community are great," said McCutchen.

McCutchen spent his first two years at Galesville teaching kindergarten.

While he enjoyed it he said he's happy to be with third grade.

He said that's when they start standardized testing a lot, so it's a good challenge to find ways to keep school fun despite the testing.