Quincy Junior High teacher awarded WGEM Golden Apple - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy Junior High teacher awarded WGEM Golden Apple

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -- WGEM continues its rich tradition of honoring local teachers with our Golden Apple Awards.  This year, we decided to recognize one teacher every month for his or her hard work and dedication in the classroom.

Wednesday morning we surprised Mrs. Brenda Fleer in her 7th grade Language Arts class.  Mrs. Fleer was in tears when we presented her with the Golden Apple.  Her students were just as surprised!  Several members of Mrs. Fleer's family were also on hand to take part in the big surprise.  Friends and colleagues were there to support her as well.


 Now in her 16th year as a Language Arts teacher, she says the best part of her job is her students.  It's her passion for education and use of creative ways to keep her 7th graders engaged that made her stand out from the rest.

And her lesson on the September 11th terrorist attacks was no different.  Mrs. Fleer used the 12th anniversary to teach her students just how much that one day in our nation's history changed the world forever.


On the anniversary she had her students dissect a poem written about the lives lost that tragic day.  Seventh grader Honor Morgan said "It really shows how many people died and how many families were affected."


The class even watched a video of the poem's author, Billy Collins, explain how he was able to put his thoughts on paper about the terrorist attacks.

Mrs. Fleer says incorporating different media into her lesson plan every day makes the content seem to stick with her students.  


Mrs. Fleer says,  "I think about what I would be like as a student.  And what it means to truly learn.  And it's not always about the poem in front of them.  It's about life lessons and it's about when you leave the classroom what kind of person you are."



Mrs. Fleer also had the students talk about that horrific day in small groups and she says it helps them understand it all, because they were just babies at the time.


Honor Morgan adds,  "I was only about 11 months old and I don't remember any of that but when we were watching the video I almost broke into tears and I generally don't do that.  It was so sad. It really affects you after you learn about it."

Donovan Prost, another 7th grader said, "I like learning about it since it was one of the biggest things that's ever happened in our country.  But she helps a lot to realize what it was really like to be there."



Mrs. Fleer hopes that by taking one of our nation's worst days in history, she's not only teaching her students about the events of 9-11, but also a much deeper life lesson.


"Can the worst in humanity bring out the best in humanity?  And really that is truly what we've talked about is that even in our worst moments, whether it be individually, or in our community or nationally, that we all seem to pull together.  We live in a great city and have a great school system and even in our worst times we pull together."


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