June Top Notch Teacher

Published On: Jun 05 2012 10:30:54 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 05 2012 10:29:41 AM CDT

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Middle School can be an interesting time for many students. It's the age where students aren't old enough to make decisions on their own, but not young enough to depend entirely on parents and teachers.

One Logan Middle School teacher has found a way to connect with students using his unique teaching methods to help them succeed.

Teaching middle school students can present some unique challenges. "Middle school's an interesting time for all the kids. They're getting a little bit older. They're a little more mature and with that I think that opens up a lot of avenues where you can build and foster relationships with the kid," said Ryan Riber.

And in Mr. Ryan Rieber's class at Logan Middle School, it's all about doing things a little unconventionally. "One thing that I've really started to try is the flipped classroom approach."

That includes homework assignments. "We make that home time at night their homework is getting those notes done and they come back to class and they have their class period to work on their assignments. So they have more face to face time with me so they can work through some of the troubles that they may run into, or the hurdles, and then we can take care of that right here in class."

But for the students who need a little more help, Mr. Reiber uses his lunch break to provide some extra food for thought.

"We started the lunch bunch back at the semester. What we try to do is I provide them with the help they need, we go through assignments just to make sure that they're getting assignments done so that they're class ready when they step in that classroom in the afternoon."

That way, in or out of the classroom, students know they have someone who truly believes they can succeed.

"Shen the students know that you're invested in them and that you want to see them succeed then positive things are going to come forth in the classroom as well."

Mr. Reiber has been teaching in the La Crosse School district since 2001. He spent one year at Southern Bluffs elementary and the last 10 at Logan Middle School.