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Mon, May 20

Bringing a little Frizzle to Lake Valley: From unsure about being a teacher to the top in 5 years

Lisa Busk teaches second grade at Lake Valley Elementary School.
Photo by Jason Wheeler.

Lisa Busk teaches second grade at Lake Valley Elementary School.

Five years ago, Lake Valley Elementary School second grade teacher Lisa Busk said her mother and bosses at the Boys & Girls Club convinced her to go into teaching, something she never saw herself doing before.

“I always loved school, but I was always kind of quiet and shy and so by working at the Boys & Girls Club, at the afterschool and summer program, I just really fell in love with working with kids,” she said. “They were like ‘why don’t you go for a teacher, why don’t you try that?’ and I finally did and I loved it.”

Lake Valley Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year, Busk said she actually went to the school in her kindergarten through sixth grade years, mentioning that now it’s neat to work alongside some of her old teachers and staff and see the other side of things.

Busk said she’s all about making sure learning is fun, commenting that she feels like she channels Ms. Frizzle, the teacher from the television show “The Magic School Bus.”

“I want them to come to school excited about learning,” she said, stating she’ll dress up for thematic units. “They’re so excited to learn something new.”

Her class does a lot of small groups, Busk said, bringing up the choice boards. They have things the students have to get done, but they can choose the order they do them in, she said. Some of them are tasks to complete by themselves or with partners and those that aren’t getting a certain skill can be put with similar groups so they don’t feel left out, Busk said.

In the classroom, the students also do something called filling buckets, which is an idea that everyone walks around with an invisible bucket that they can either fill or empty, Busk said. The students fill those buckets by being happy, friendly, helpful and smiling, she said, remarking that the students might see her having a bad day and give her an extra smile or give some extra help to a friend.

“It’s just that classroom culture that I love so much about first and second,” she said.

Being named as Lake Valley Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year was an honor, especially in how the students wrote the essays, Busk said, calling it something special that she’d never forget.

Looking forward to the years ahead, Busk said she definitely still sees herself in the classroom. Even then, she’s committed to being an even better teacher, she said.

“I am boing back for my master’s degree in the fall,” she said, mentioning that it will be for elementary education with a reading endorsement. “I love teaching reading the most.”

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