Dear Editor,

I'm an individual who has gone through four tough years of college to earn a degree in education. I understand the hard work that it takes to become exceptional in this field, especially if you work with a class of 10-year-olds in an RTI class.

I've been scolding teachers and belittling administrators and criticizing public education, but lately I became aware of one good teacher.

Since kindergarten, my grandson went to school begrudgingly every day. I felt that I'd have to be a witness to this agonizing plight until the day I died, and that I'd be the one to homeschool him in the near future. It was hard for me to see him go to school in the morning every day and coming home defeated, feeling stupid.

Just a short couple of weeks ago, something strange happened at Panther Valley Elementary School. Through an answer to prayer a miracle happened at that school. My grandson's regular teacher took a leave of absence from her class, and a young man, Mr. Kocha, took over his class. From the get-go, my grandson stopped asking me incessantly about how many days until the week ended, and abruptly stopped his whining about how he hated school. He did his homework, brought home good test papers, participated in recess, felt better about himself, and showed a much healthier attitude toward school. Now he likes to go to school every day.

Mr. Kocha, take my advice: whatever method you're using, and however you're connecting with these kids in the classroom, keep it up. My grandson talks about his new teacher with admiration and enthusiasm. His grades are improving, and he's doing something that he hasn't done all through the school year: read.

I just wanted to thank you for giving this boy some encouragement, and I pray that your influence on him and the others in the classroom will change the way they view learning in the future. You are a credit to your profession, and you have changed one impressionable soul already.

As far as I'm concerned, you've earned the Teacher of the Year Award, (and a nice raise).

From a gratefulgrandmother,

Faye Ruckhardt