- Associated Press - Saturday, September 10, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Andrew Roberts has been caring for his fourth grade students at Wares Ferry Elementary for nearly two decades. He does it because the school once cared for him.

This year begins Roberts’ 19th year as a teacher there - the same school he was once a student at. It was the caring, nurturing atmosphere of the teachers and staff he had that drew him to teaching and eventually back to his old classroom.

“I just remember everybody cared - the principal, the teachers, the nurse, the custodian. Everyone was just all in,” Roberts said. “I remembered that as I went to middle school, high school and then college.

“It made a big impression on me.”

He’s come full circle and hopes to impress that same atmosphere he experienced with each of his students. Although it’s the start of a new year, he’s already made a positive impression on one his students, 10-year-old Alex McCoy.

“I like being in fourth grade,” McCoy said. “My classmates really help me out sometimes, they tell me what I need and I’ll help them on the work their doing or when to pull out their stuff.”

Recently, McCoy and his peers took part in “Chunkin’ the Text,” a segment of their day where students pour over a reading assignment section by section and break down any unfamiliar words.

This week they read about the conservation of the gray wolf.

As they read, Roberts asked for them to pick out any words they didn’t know the meaning of. They would then dissect the graph the word was found in and determine its definition through context clues. If they still couldn’t find a good working definition, they referred to the dictionary.

Roberts has been with Montgomery Public Schools since he graduated from Alabama State University with a bachelor’s degree and Masters in Elementary Education and is also a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School.

He hopes to increase the vocabulary of his students and expose them to new things.

“There is a push in particular to build up math vocabulary and reading,” Roberts said. “I’m looking forward to them growing in all aspects academically so they can become better learners and better people.”

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Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com


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