Each Tuesday, we highlight a teacher in our school. They have a message we think you might like to hear. These weekly pictures and messages are part of a social media campaign that shows on our Facebook and Instagram pages. You can view all of them there.
Meet our #teachertuesday of the week, Mr. Richard Woolfolk, middle school math teacher at The Basilica School of Saint Mary, and his chicken and work friend, Pauline, who stays at home.
Mr. Woolfolk "believes all students have the ability to succeed. It begins with a positive environment and relationship with the principal, teacher, and classmates." Mathematically, he provides students with ample opportunity to practice with an emphasis on automaticity through mechanical familiarity. He helps students to see mistakes and miscalculations and often presents them with errors purposely for them to analyze. The practice, similar to learning piano scales, is what Mr. Woolfolk has discovered to be the leading cause of success and understanding. "Once fluency is established through high-frequency problem solving, concepts are much more easily understood."
Mr. Woolfolk claims that the students at this school are exceptionally motivated and thirsting for knowledge with a clear focus on where they want to be in the years ahead. That energy has remained as we have transitioned from the classroom to the e-learning environment. He can’t imagine how challenging it must be for them right now, vying for computer time and access, waiting on questions to be answered by their teachers, and wondering how this will all affect them. Yet these students continue to complete and submit their work promptly.
Mr. Woolfolk's favorite aspect of the students at The Basilica School of Saint Mary is simply how friendly and courteous they can be. "I am bombarded every day with students well-wishing me on the day, the weekend, or something as special as my daughter being born. Moreover, I have never had students thank me for a class as these students do. It has persisted throughout the school year. I am just as grateful to them for making my experience so positive!"