After an unprecedented year, teachers are getting some recognition in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week.
“I wanted to make a difference in kids’ lives,” said Spanish teacher Breana Trottier.
This is Trottier’s sixth year as a teacher.
She’s spent the last two as the Spanish teacher at Surrey School.
She says growing up, Spanish was difficult but it was her teacher who inspired her.
“She made it enjoyable, right? It wasn’t all just, ‘You have to memorize this, this, this and this. I want you to learn life skills, too while you’re doing it and about the culture.’ It really kind of boosted me into deciding that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be THAT teacher to make a difference in the kids’ lives,” Trottier said.
She doesn’t just teach Spanish, either. This year, she’s also involved in a studies and life skills course.
“Needless to say, there wasn’t a real curriculum for it so she’s kind of come up with things throughout the year. And just some really, really neat ideas to do with the kids,” said Principal Debbie Hansen.
“It makes me feel really good because I mean, I’ve helped kids with things other than Spanish, right? I have a studies skills class too that I teach here and I get to help them with all kinds of subjects like math. And I’m like, ‘I’m not very good at math but let me teach myself and then I’ll help you!’ It’s nice knowing that the kids are comfortable enough to come and ask those. It makes me feel really good as a teacher,” Trottier said.
Which is something her students appreciate.
“She makes sure we know what we’re doing. She helps us out if we need it,” said Logan Duchsherer, a seventh-grader.
“She’s really nice. She’ll help you whenever you’re struggling,” said Drew Pursifull, a seventh-grader.
She’s also involved in a high school prep program where she helps students who need a hand.
“I check their grades twice a week, we go through their grades, we check for missing homework and we’ve had kids who’ve not had the best grades, and this quarter, they’re on the honor roll,” Trottier said.
“Really has turned things around for them so that’s been a big, big bonus this year,” Hansen said.
Some might say Trottier goes above and beyond to make a difference, but she says she’s just doing what she loves.
“To have somebody that lives in our community and takes a real interest in the kids, comes to the ball games all those things, that’s huge for a small school. Well, for any school but we were just real fortunate to have that,” Hansen said.
“I’m always trying to find new ways to help the kids if something doesn’t work, I’m open to trying different things, and new projects and going out of my comfort zone,” Trottier said.
Those are just some reasons why teachers like Breana Trottier are appreciated.
Trottier says when former students come back to visit and thank her for making a difference in their lives is the most rewarding part of her job.