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Janelle Ricketts

Miss Ricketts helps students individually by learning each of her student’s learning style and communicating in ways that best teach students difficult concepts. For example, she knows her students so well, she can tell if a student is struggling without them asking for help. She then takes the time to teach using methods that work best for that particular student. She takes the time to share photos, videos, and send encouragement to parents so that they have a glimpse of what is going on in the classroom.

Outside of the classroom, she attends her students’ extra-curricular events to support them where they are most comfortable. This spring, during the quarantine when schools were not in attendance, she spent her own time and money to hand deliver “bags of encouragement” full of fun learning activities to her students’ homes. She not only included activities for her students but also their siblings.

Her care and teaching don’t stop when you leave her classroom and head to the next grade. She frequently meets up with past students to encourage them with scripture, cards, or a hug. “She doesn’t just try to be your teacher, she tries to be part of your life,” shared my 11-year-old daughter who was lucky to be in her fourth grade classroom.

After graduating and heading to a new school, my daughter was struggling to find her place. Miss Ricketts checked in to inquire how the year was going. Upon finding out the struggles our daughter was facing, she asked if she could take her out for some fun. For the outing, she purchased a notebook and filled it with meaningful and appropriate scripture and encouragement.

Here is a small excerpt from the notebook: Last year, you asked my favorite quote: “Savor the Moment.” And truly that would be my biggest encouragement, take one day at a time, moment by moment, and enjoy the blessings God has given you. It doesn’t mean you won’t have tough days still, but it changes your perspective if you can take a moment to thank God for something in the midst of hard things.

We frequently thank God for the gift of Miss Ricketts and the blessing she has been and continues to be to our daughter. Her fourth grade year was a year of growth, learning, and love from the most kind-hearted young lady we know.

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