JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Steve Wood thought he wanted to be a professional baseball player and own his own restaurant, but teaching at a summer camp in his home state of Illinois made this aspiring pro athlete change course.
Wood now teaches math and science at Lone Star Elementary, but that's not all he's teaching his students.
"For me, he taught us to be good to other people and help out other people." says fifth-grade student Noah Bellinger.
Wood says, when it comes to his educational philosophy, he has a different approach to teaching. "If you can make a student believe in their character, then everything else falls in line after that," he says.
And when it comes to teaching the subject matter, he puts a twist on things there, too.
"He makes jokes about math which helps you remember it in your head," says former student, Ariana Perkins.
"He makes jokes all the time," adds Noah.
Former student, Kirsten Martin, recalls a method Wood used to use when asking students to respond to a question. "He'll sing 'Shout, shout, let it all out,' and then he calls on somebody, and then they shout out the answer," she laughs.
"In order to make math interesting, you gotta throw some tweaks in there to make it fun," Wood says.
And that's certainly how his students see his classroom, especially when it comes to earning the coveted title of "Citizen of the Month."
"It's about helping other people out, following directions, doing homework," explains Noah.
"Citizens of the month may not even be the strongest in academics, but as long as they're trying, and improving, and their peers see that's all that matters," adds Wood.
Though there are perks to earning the title, the real reward is learning social responsibility and math, all in one classroom.
First Coast News