Top Notch Teacher: La Crescent-Hokah teacher says seeing success makes her feel successful

We recognize Kim Baer as February’s Top Notch Teacher

LA CRESCENT, Minn. (WKBT) — A second grade teacher at La Crescent-Hokah Elementary is more than just an educator of the basics.

News 8 Now’s Tory-Kale Schultz found out her success in the classroom starts in the heart.

We recognize Kim Baer as this month’s Top Notch Teacher.

“I teach second grade — but not only teach, I love them,” Baer said.

And that right there was the end of subject matter on reading or math.

Baer got to the heart of the matter in her teaching.

“Whenever the students come into my classroom, I want them to feel like they belong here, to make them feel special,” she said. “So, you have to do that before you can teach them. So, that’s why I am here—to make someone feel like they are someone.”

Looking around the classroom, she had a whole bunch of special someone’s.

“You have so many things in life where you are trying to be taught or you need to succeed in something. I want them to know you can do this, and have confidence in themselves,” Baer said.

Hard work and confidence everywhere. And if one needed a reminder.

“You can do this. In fact, our saying,” she said.

And the results of her motivation don’t end when the students leave her classroom.

“I’ve had many students come back and say, “ Mrs. Baer, I did this, I made it, and I did it because you just kept, you kept on. I have students that have left my room, and if they still run up and hug me, that’s where I see success,” Baer said.

And hugs I saw. Everywhere she went.

Seeing their success, actually, makes me feel successful,” said Baer.

What would she say is the secret sauce to an impactful career in education?

“I would say, “Devote yourself to showing the students that you love them, that you care about them. If the teacher does that, then they can teach them. Yeah. It’s not just about coming in here and saying how to do a math problem. You got to get that connection so that they’re ready to listen to you and they want to learn.”

Kim Baer, a Top Notch Teacher, is from Tennessee, and taught there, as well as in Missouri, before coming to our area with her husband.

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