2016-2017 Student of the Year
The 2016-2017 school year was another awesome school year for my students, and once again I had the privilege of partnering with some amazing students and parents. What a joy to witness the ups and downs, growth, maturity, success, knowledge acquired, and lessons learned by each of my students. For most of my students, the 2017-2018 school year has already begun, but my home school students have a few more weeks of freedom. One of those students happens to be my student of the year. It is with great pride that I announce my 2016-2017 Student of Year, JONAH FRIED.
While this was my first year coaching Jonah academically, it was not my first time meeting him because I have known his family for about eight years. I used to see Jonah when I tutored his siblings. I also got snowed in with him one weekend when I was babysitting while his parents were out of town. I was the one battling with him to bundle up every time he wanted to go out and play.
So fast forward a few years and I was reintroduced to this young man as his teacher. I was nervous that our previous battle might continue. What a difference a few years can make! I remember feeling so blown away during our first session by how much he had grown up and thought to myself, “this is going to be fun.” I was exactly right.
Jonah is a home schooled 5th grader with an old soul, a brilliant mind, a sweet spirit and endless energy. When he is not studying, he is busy with many other interesting endeavors. His biggest hobby is internet research. He gets a bee in his bonnet and has to find out every detail. He has a second-degree black belt in a martial art. He plays piano, guitar, and his new love is drums. Jonah also loves to spend time in his workshop building everything from boxes to medieval weapons. He is always showing me his latest modification to nerf guns, and he meets monthly with a large group of other enthusiasts to test out their inventions. He has been deer and turkey hunting and knows how to use a pistol, rifle and bow to hunt. His newest hobby is black smithing, and he knows how to cook. What doesn’t he know how to do? That’s where I came in.:)
My purpose in Jonah’s life has been to help him develop stronger disciplines/better study habits and to support his mastery of math, grammar and writing. He has grown leaps and bounds in all of these areas. He has completed a very impressive body of work for a 5th grader including a top-notch research project on Georgia and an entertaining children’s story book. I honestly had to remind myself more than a few times that I wasn’t working with an older student based on the depth of his thinking and the quality of his writing.
While Jonah’s academic accomplishments this year were very impressive, it is his personal growth that landed him the title of “Student of the Year.” Jonah kind of had his own system of completing work, and I came in and changed that up a bit. I routinely pushed him out of his comfort zone and challenged him to take his work to the next level. He responded like a real champ. He learned to be open to criticism and also to ask for help when he needed it. We created a real partnership and that is the best kind of student/teacher relationship. I also appreciate that this young man would take the time every session to check in with me to see how I was doing.
Congratulations, Jonah! I’m looking forward to another fun and challenging year.