Panama City- Spend just five minutes in Mrs. Keiffer's 2nd grade classroom at Hiland Park Elementary School and you'll understand why her students love coming to school.
Every student in Mrs. Keiffer's 2nd grade classroom gets a hero's welcome. She emphasizes the importance of being in class every day and makes learning fun so her students can't wait to come back. "I want the kids to love school, to enjoy school and want to be here. I can't teach them if they aren't here," said Keiffer.
She creates an atmosphere of mutual respect where children can thrive together. When asked what he likes best about being in Mrs. Keiffer's class, Luke Guy responded, "Everybody is nice to everybody."
She tries to help her students excel in all subjects...especially reading. "We pursue the AR reading program. The children get a point for every 2 books that they read on their level and they try to reach 25 points every grading period, the ultimate goal being 100 every year."
Principal of Hiland Park Elementary, Patti Fowler says Mrs. Keiffer knows the importance of a connection between home and school. "She follows up to make sure that if there are special needs, if the child needs clothes or is having problems not waking up in the morning, she will follow up with the families to see if there is some way to get them in school. Mrs. Keiffer really goes above and beyond to be all that the children need once they gets here to school."
Apparently "Keiffer" is a difficult name for 2nd graders to say. Mrs. Keiffer gets called all kinds of things. "Mrs. Keeper, Mrs. Keebler, Mrs. Keesler..." No matter what they call her, her students know they are fortunate to be in her care. "I feel happy that I was picked to go to her class," said Kate Waggoner. "She like does alot of examples so we get it alot," said fellow student Luke Guy.
"Mrs. Keiffer is someone who works hard and she really doesn't want the notoriety. She does it because of the children and that is what is important," said Principal Fowler. Congratulations to Mrs. Keiffer, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher.