Getting through to more than two dozen students can be a tricky task. One local teacher has found a way through focus and fun.

 

Shane Mattingly is a sixth-grade teacher at Lake Otis Elementary School and KTVA’s Teacher of the Week.

 

There’s no escaping Shane Mattingly. Whether it’s a high five or fist bump, he sets the tone for the rest of the day.

 

“He always tries to make learning as fun as possible,” says one of his students.

 

Mattingly is tasked with finding ways to educate a classroom filled with 29 kids of varying abilities.

 

“Pre-test. Teach. Re-teach. Support. Post-test and then find out what they do and do not know after that. And possibly re-teach it again,” he said of his strategy in the classroom.

 

He also knows when to stray from the path or go with the flow.

 

“I take the chance to do the ‘ah-ha moment’ and maybe give it more focus and abandon the entire lesson if I got three or four kids who I saw the light bulb go on,” he said. “I would rather pursue that moment. I can get a few more light bulbs to go on with that. That’s what I call inspired learning, or inspired teaching. Their learning is inspiring me to take a different avenue of my lesson.”

 

Inspired by the tragic events at Columbine, Mattingly decided he belonged in the classroom making a difference.

 

He reads a letter from a student:

 

“Thanks to you and your silliness, I’m always happy. People bring me down in the dumps but you are always there for me and your students. Don’t change who you are. Sincerely, Lillian.”

 

On a scale of one to ten, Mattingly says his love of teaching ranks at an 11.

 

“I don’t do it for the money,” he said. “My wife, as I always say to the adults in the room, my wife makes the money. I get to do this, I get to do this and they pay me. So that’s kind of a good deal.”

 

Mattingly’s KTVA Teacher of the Week certificate now sits proudly at the head of the class. He told his students that without good students like them, it would be hard to be a good teacher.

 

 

 

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