DENVER - Walk into her classroom, and you'll hear an oft repeated quote that almost sounds like satire of a former presidential candidate.
"Two more minutes, my friends! Two more minutes!" Mrs. Molly Kirschling told her pre-school aged students one morning at recess. "Aiden, my friend, are you having fun up on the slide?"
Whatever thoughts the "my friends" quote might spawn in your mind, Kirschling's reference to her students as friends couldn't be any more genuine; the students in her early childhood education class at Steck Elementary School in Denver are very good friends, indeed.
"I think it's important that I call them friends, because they are my friends," Kirschling, the recipient of the November 9Teachers Who Care award, said. "I think it's so important that they really like school. If we have fun here, they'll come in wanting to learn. They're sponges at this age."
Kirschling has been teaching for more than 13 years, with the two most recent years at Steck in Denver Public Schools. Her colleagues at Steck, including principal La Dawn Baity, recommended Kirschling because of how she "Celebrates almost everything with her children. Parents are regularly invited in for teas, holiday performances, and even just to recognize that spring is here and the chick eggs in the incubator have hatched and the butterfly chrysalises have opened."
When we asked Kirschling about her energy, which seems to be endless, she credited the children (and a regular regiment of pilates and aerobics classes, which she teaches after school).
"I've been asked what kind of vitamin I take!" Kirschling said. "I guess these guys are my vitamins. They really are. I feed off of it each day.
"I'm hoping I make a difference in their life as well," she said, "and they realize I'm giving 100 percent into my teaching. It makes a difference in their education to have that beginning foundation of friendship. And it makes a difference to me to know they're having so much fun each day."
To nominate someone you know as a 9Teacher Who Cares, visit the 9Teachers Who Care information page, where you can download a nomination form: http://www.9news.com/life/community/whocare/teachers/default.aspx.
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