Creativity blooms from seeds planted in classroom

The writer William Arthur Ward once said that a good teacher explains, while a great teacher inspires. Thankfully, we’ve got more than our fair share of great teachers in this district who constantly inspire their students to explore their creativity and stretch their potential.

Cedarcrest Middle School’s Traci Overstreet is a good example of that aphorism. She has been teaching ILC for nine years, and she loves seeing her students break out of their shells.

One student in particular, a boy named Troy, moved to middle school last year. He was eager to learn, but hesitant to try new things without support. After spending a great deal of time with him, Overstreet said Troy has blossomed this year in the classroom.

“Troy has taken on a leadership role in the classroom,” she said. “He is willing to try new things independently and without support. Troy has learned that it’s okay to try new things and to fail at them. He will continue to try them to get the skills needed and to get better at it.

Troy was particularly inspired by his STEAM class, taught by Gina Mork. In STEAM, students learn about stop motion videos, using skills they learn in a photography unit. After class, Troy went home and created his very own stop motion video.

“Troy is an amazing artist, leader and friendly young man. I am very lucky to have him as a student,” Overstreet said.

Seeing struggling students succeed and find their voice is something that inspires all of us. And it’s what got Traci Overstreet into teaching in the first place.

“I was a volunteer in the classroom at Naches Trail. I would have the student that struggled with either behavior or academics join my group and were excited to see me,” she said. “I decided to pursue special education at Saint Martin’s. My vision was going into Special Education in Resource, but I did a practicum in a FOSS program. My life changed that day, I was going to be a self-contained teacher.”

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Helping kids learn is the driving force behind all we do in the Bethel School District.

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Helping kids learn is the driving force behind all we do in the Bethel School District.

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