VERDE VALLEY EDUCATOR OF THE WEEK: Mary Frewin
If there’s anything Mary Frewin doesn’t like about being a teacher, it’s when one of her fifth-grade students proves her wrong.
Not that it happens all that often. But when it does, “Now that hurts,” she says, laughing.
At Camp Verde’s United Christian School the past four years, Frewin has been a “gifted teacher” who cares about her students not just as learners but as people, says school Principal Kathy Holden.
Frewin’s students “respect and like her,” Holden says. “She is clear and concise in her instruction approach.”
Holden also says she appreciates the fact that Frewin “also takes the time to coach girls’ volleyball and connects personally with these students.”
“I realized she was special when all substitutes are quick to praise her class with regard to behavior, attentiveness and comfort in the routine,” Holden says. “These attributes are taught and reinforced on a daily basis from Mrs. Frewin.”
It was in college when Frewin realized that being a teacher was her destiny.
“I never saw myself as a teacher, but after just one day of working with kids, I knew immediately that teaching was my calling,” she says.
What does she like about teaching? Frewin says it’s the “joy I get from my students.”
“Teaching has its difficulties and so does life,” Frewin says. “But if you go into the classroom every day and really invest in each child and their unique personality, you will find so much joy in getting to know them. Kids are so fun”
“My teaching style is to engage the students as much as possible with hands-on learning. There is no sense in a child listening to me explain how to do something a million times, especially if they’re not getting it.
“I find it to be very effective for them to learn by doing things with me. I give a brief summary, but then it’s time for them to pick up their pencils and work along with me.”
“I have completely followed in the footsteps of my dad. Both of us graduated from Northern Arizona University’s teacher education program. “We also both went on to work in Christian school education.
“In 2016, the UCS Middle School Girls Volleyball Team took first place under my coaching in the end-of-the-year tournament.”
“One of the many joys of teaching is getting to use my fifth-grade knowledge in real life situations. One time I was at a trivia night, and the question ‘What is the fastest bird in the world?’ came up.
“No one in the group had any idea. Birds are one of our science units in fifth grade, so I felt like a rock star getting to answer the question that no one knew.”
Did you know?
“I was voted class clown my senior year of high school. Now it’s a piece of cake identifying the class clown of the group every year. It was a lot more fun being the clown than it is teaching them.”
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42