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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

RampageWired

Stevens McClure: New Fourth Grade Teacher With A Unique Style

Stevens+McClure%3A+New+Fourth+Grade+Teacher+With+A+Unique+Style

Slider image and article by Abbie Davis and Austin Klinock

Stevens McClure is HBHA’s newest fourth grade teacher, and he is the kind of teacher whose main goal is helping his students to enjoy school. He has real conversations with them and brings a unique, fun style of teaching into the classroom.

Recently, McClure moved to Kansas from Denver, but he grew up on a Missouri farm. He has dreamed of being a teacher most of his life; ever since McClure was a kid he has known that’s what he wanted to do.

“I’ve always known from a young age that I’ve wanted to be a teacher.” says McClure. Before he started teaching, he owned his own business, and then he worked professionally in sales. Surprisingly, this is McClure’s first time teaching fourth grade, and already he has seemed to have mastered it.  Previously, he has taught first grade, a third-fourth grade split class, and third grade. He decided to come and teach at HBHA because his favorite place to teach is private schools.

McClure also wanted to teach Jewish students. “All of the Jewish students I’ve taught have enjoyed learning, and most of the time were pretty model students.” said McClure. He plans the class so that the kids will truly love learning. McClure talks with his students instead of at them, and the students are engaged and happy throughout the lesson.

McClure has a unique style of teaching. “I try to use methods of teaching… that are the most productive,’ McClure says. “The more you get them involved with the learning, the more they are going to retain.”

He believes that even though the lecture approach to teaching has been used for hundreds of years, there is still a better, and more effective way to help his students learn. This unique method of teaching can be seen in many different forms through the way in which he conducts his class.

For example, McClure can often be seen sitting in a circle on the floor with his students. This may take place when he is explaining an assignment or perhaps during a discussion about a reading that the students have completed.  McClure states that the philosophy behind this method is, “In a circle, no one is left out.” He says that when they sit in a circle, it’s as if they are in ‘more of a community,’  and that it is his job, as the teacher to lead the discussion, and it their job as the students to contribute to it.

Mr. McClure and his students work on an assignment together. Photo by Abbie Davis and Austin Klinock.

McClure wants to his students to feel that they are in a shared space when they are in his class.

“Ultimately,” McClure says, “whose classroom is it? Theirs… the kids’.” In order to give them this sense of ownership of the classroom, he has set up a chart on the wall titled: “Job Tree.” Listed on this chart are a variety of jobs the students perform weekly, ranging from bringing recess equipment outside to taking care of the class pets. This form of ownership and responsibility helps his students feel like they are in an environment dedicated to them.

While McClure is mainly focused on his students being internally motivated, he has also set up a form of external motivation that is both fun and educational. Upon walking into his classroom, one may be surprised to see several balloons hanging on the wall. These balloons are all part of McClure’s “Class Points” system. When his students perform above and beyond expectations, they can earn a class point. Once they earn fifty points, they can choose a balloon to pop on the wall. This balloon contains a prize for the whole class. This prize is both entertaining and educational. Recently, the class was rewarded with an “alliteration party,” during which they sculpted slime, ate salty snacks, stared at screens, and more.

From his colorful classroom, to his call and response catch phrase: “Goodness gracious. Great balls of fire!” McClure is a fun loving teacher devoted to the education and wellbeing of his students. He is there to teach his students to enjoy learning, through fun and educational experiences in class.

McClure observes,  “It’s my job to get them to work more to figure out the concepts themselves, not to just tell them the answers… It’s my job to lead them to figuring out the answers on their own.”

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The Rampagewired is excited to offer new multimedia content! Please enjoy the video by Jared Schultz below of Mr. McClure and his class in action!

[vsw id=”cFjvE_sbHek” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

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