As I write this, I have a big smile on my face. I am remembering my days of volunteering in the classroom of Mr. Gregory Bertsch’s first grade class. I had retired from working as a secretary at our local middle school. Before that, I had spent 16 years at the elementary school where Mr. Bertsch worked. I told him that I had never spent time on the other side of the counter and that I wanted to see how it goes. My granddaughter was in his class so he asked if I wanted to come spend time in his room which I did. I was amazed at the culture of his room. He interacted so well with the students, always willing to review and not move on till what he was trying to teach them was accepted. He had taught the students the mottos of his class and what he expected from them. The students knew their schedule and exactly when it was time to transition to another subject.
Greg taught the students all about kindness ripples and when they sat in circle time to share or discuss, if one of the students commented on something in a good way, they do the signal for kindness ripples. I would go in each year around a holiday and do arts and crafts with the class. To this day, I still have samples of them all. Not only did I find a wonderful, caring and empathetic teacher, I found a great friend. I did this volunteer for at least 5 years and truly miss it and Mr. Bertsch.
I wish him and his new endeavor the utmost success. Anyone who has the pleasure of working with him or has a student working with him they are and will be blessed.
Mrs. Julie Markiewicz