Panama City Beach - This week's Golden Apple award winner is a math teacher at Surfside Middle School. Tinsley McGruder says she went into teaching because she wanted to be a positive influence on her students. According to them: mission accomplished.
A former cheerleader herself, students and colleagues say Tinsley McGruder is now a cheerleader for her students. "Her high energy translates into getting high performance out of kids and that is what education is after all, all about," said Sue Harrell, Surfside Middle School Principal.
Ms. McGruder uses technology, like her Smart board, to keep her students engaged in a subject she genuinely loves. "I loved math, I had such great math teachers growing up. Math was fun to me and I want that to be what the kids experience today, that math is fun," said Ms. McGruder. She teaches students about the importance of math by showing them how they use it outside the classroom. "I'm on the basketball team and we have a game today and she teaches us how we can use math in sports and everyday life," said Gannon Powell, one of the students who nominated Ms. McGruder.
In a world where many students struggle to find a role model, Ms. McGruder wants to be a positive influence on every student. "They know she cares about them. Ultimately that is the quality that children have always ranked, for year and years, is if the teacher cares about them then they want to perform, they want to learn in that teacher's classroom and I think all that works for Tinsley McGruder," said Principal Harrell. "She makes it really easy to learn stuff, and it's really fun, and she is my favorite teacher at this school," said Brooke Bruhmeller, another student who nominated Ms. McGruder.
Congratulations to Ms. McGruder, this week's Golden Apple award winning teacher. "That ligh tbulb goes off and you know you got to them. That is the best moment of teaching," said Ms. McGruder.