Since 2017, Charter School Capital has held an annual essay contest celebrating exceptional teachers. We call it the Dewey Awards, in celebration of Mr. Richard Dewey – a teacher who provided exceptional mentorship to our founder and CEO Stuart Ellis. Every year we get a brilliant selection of stories written by students from charter schools all over the nation. This year’s winners are featured here. But each of these stories is worth sharing.
This week we bring you a story written by the Anderson family, celebrating Ms. Kimberly Love of Compass Charter Schools.
We Nominate Ms. Love for a Dewey Award! Compass Charter Schools has a knack for hiring great teachers. While we love all of the staff, teachers, and special tutors at Compass, we have a special place in our hearts for Ms. Kimberly Love.
We have known Ms. Love for five years now. Coco became her scholar five years ago when she was a timid first grader. She has Dyslexia and Asperger’s. Ms. Love is the perfect blend of kindness and unlimited patience. She always has suggestions for parents and learning coaches based on her many years of experience as an educator and her personal experience raising four beautiful daughters. When it was time for our daughter Birdie to attend school, we thought about public school, but with Coco at Compass and already having such a great rapport with Ms. Love, it seemed like a perfect fit to keep both girls at Compass. And when Coronavirus hit, we were so grateful that we did.
While public teachers were feeling overwhelmed, as they describe it, “like they were just treading water,” we had the benefit of all of Ms. Love’s years of experience in virtual education. Compass has not missed one day of instruction during the pandemic. Ms. Love has seamlessly seen us through the transition of a new education platform, Accelerate Education, and even finds time while coaching her own family at home to make special videos for us that helped us adapt to this change.
It is not easy during this pandemic, but I would describe our progress more as “soaring” than as “treading water.” I wish that every child and parent confronting Coronavirus and lockdown could have as rich and rewarding an experience as we have had at Compass. Ms. Love is a big part of that experience. It is both challenging and rewarding to be a parent and learning coach, but worth every moment. Compass even offers a course in parenting and coaching! And I received a lovely certificate! I can easily see why Ms. Love chose to teach for Compass. We’ve had coffee with the principal and many special field trips.
Birdie can’t wait for her in-person labs with Ms. Love. She loves all of the unique ways that Ms. Love creates to encourage scholars, like “clapping like you’re on a roller coaster” or “clapping like you’re popping bubbles.” She even has birthday days where scholars all wear hats and sing Happy Birthday. Birdie’s favorite is old-fashioned show and tell that is tied to the subject matter! And she loves when Ms. Love gives them time to “scribble on the ‘marker board’ before class.
Ms. Love thinks of anything and everything to create a sense of community. Her feedback on homework is nothing short of adorable. Our journey from a “shy” diagnosis to a diagnosis of Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Aspergers would not have been half as easy or nearly as pain-free for our shy little scholar if it had not been for Ms. Love. She created a safe online environment for her to participate and become acclimated with caring adults. Exceptional content can still be delivered to bright children with special needs by the right professional educators, using a suitable medium. Compass employs every medium and to the best benefit!
We are impressed with the technology chosen and the content of the various courses. We are also incredibly indebted to Ms. Love for referring our scholar, Coco, to testing for dyslexia, where she has been paired with the most wonderful teacher, Ms. Jen. Between Ms. Love, Ms. Jen, and now a fifth-grade addition of Ms. Eagelton and Ms. Grimes, we feel we have a “Compass Dream-Team” for our fifth grader! And we have not lost Ms. Love since she is still with our first-grader, Birdie, who will get to have her until she is in fifth grade. We love the way that Compass allows scholars to remain with one teacher, eliminating a period of “getting to know each other” every year. It provides more continuity of the program. And still, scholars are able to become acclimated to different types of teachers through various labs, tutoring sessions, and clubs during the week.
My husband is a Senior Programmer with Adobe, and I am a retired Literacy Consultant with three teaching credentials, so we recognize when someone is doing an excellent job. We call Ms. Love a “Master Teacher” for all of her superior organizational skills. We only wish that she could impart her wisdom to all public school teachers having such a tough time adapting to online learning during this current pandemic.
Ms. Love has excellent attention to detail, cares deeply about her families, and maintains weekly contact through various mediums flawlessly. She is so valuable to us, and her dedication needs to be shared. Our scholars love her! J.J. Lewis, Compass Superintendent & CEO, calls us the “Ms. Love’s Fan Club” when her families attend his virtual meetings. We have the same kind of fondness for Mr. Lewis. We can’t help complimenting good educators when we have them. It makes all the difference in the world that they so positively impact the lives of our children! The Andersons