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Community, Relationships Key to Success for Maize Elementary Teacher

Michelle Weber with students

May 12, 2023 -- It was at an early age that Michelle Weber knew she was destined to become a teacher. From small-town Ohio to the Buckeye capital, Weber has over 25 years of experience teaching with Columbus City Schools. 

Upon receiving her Master’s in Education from The Ohio State University, the Buckeye grad immediately landed a role as a permanent substitute teacher at Duxberry Elementary.

“I’m just a normal everyday teacher who wants to do what’s best for their kids,” said Weber

Twenty-two years later, she is paving the way for successful math and reading strategies for third graders at Maize Elementary.

Michelle Weber with student“You can teach the love of math if you find the fun way to do it,” she said. As someone who describes herself as “not musically inclined,” Weber incorporates song, rhythm, and rhyme into her math concepts. Songs that students continue singing into their fourth and fifth-grade years.

And it doesn’t stop there. Developing a strong community within the classroom is her key to finding success. “One of the most important things about teaching math is building a community where students know it’s okay to make mistakes,” she added. 

Weber has set the expectation within her classroom that multiple strategies can be used to solve one problem. “[Students] will even share their mistakes so others can learn from them,” said Weber.

Tiffany Genton, principal at Maize, raves about her teacher when asked about Weber’s teaching styles in the classroom. “Weber builds an environment that helps students take ownership of their learning,” she said.

More than just a math teacher, Weber is also working towards specializations in reading and educating students who speak English as a second language (ESL). “I am constantly taking classes to become a better teacher,” she said.

Weber finds herself drawn to working one-on-one with third-grade students who struggle with reading. “If I could help them [pass third-grade reading], that’s going to be a life changer for them,” she added.

The students at Maize, particularly the non-native English speakers, draw her back to teaching daily. “I really like working with ESL students, and you don’t get that opportunity at every school,” said Weber.

“Weber cares immensely about her students and develops relationships with them,” Principal Genton said. “Maize is incredibly lucky to have her.”

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPriority 4 - Authentic EngagementPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology