Meet our 4th Grade Essay Winner: “He Makes Us Feel Like Family”

Tennessee Department of Education

Tennessee Department of Education

Nearly 2,000 essays later, the Tennessee Department of Education is proud to announce the winners of our second “Why I’m Thankful for my Teacher” essay contest. After reading hundreds of poignant, honest essays (with lots of smiles and a few tears), three stories stole our hearts. We are thrilled to introduce Maria Kime, a fourth grader at McFadden School of Excellence and the winner of our fourth- through eighth-grade category. Read on and step into Maria’s favorite classroom at McFadden School of Excellence in Rutherford County.

By Maria Kime

Mr. Roach is my fourth-grade homeroom and math teacher at McFadden School of Excellence. Let me tell you, he is one classy teacher. His clothes are very stylish, and he always looks very professional. You can tell from the way he presents himself that he takes his job of teaching us about math and life very seriously.

Kim & Roach Celebration 4

Maria and Mr. Roach pose for a picture after being honored in front of the McFadden School of Excellence student body.

I also love that he makes us feel like we are family. You can tell he really cares about us. This was my first year at McFadden, and I was excited but nervous to meet new friends and teachers. It was a neat coincidence that it was Mr. Roach’s first year at this school as well. It knew he could relate to my situation, and he was extremely nice and helpful in making sure I adjusted well to my new environment.

He is very organized and that makes it easier for us to learn since we know where everything is. Our room looks like it could be in a magazine. It is ocean themed. There are nautical flags hanging above our desks, boats on shelves, and deck chairs.

He also makes sure that we are comfortable, so there is a couch and there are real dining chairs and tables around the room. I am glad that he made such an inviting place for us to learn. It is neat to be in such a cool room because we spend a lot of time in there.

Kime and Roach CelebrationThere is never a dull day in Mr. Roach’s homeroom. Not only is he magnificent at teaching math, but he is also a great role model. You can tell he is excited for our future and wants us to be successful both in academics and citizenship. At the end of the day he reads to us very interesting and powerful books like Flying Solo, Petey, Code Orange, and Lincoln’s Grave Robbers. I love that he does that because after a day working hard in math, language, science, and history this is a perfect way to close the school day. It is not intense schoolwork and it is relaxing, but we are still using our brain and learning from it.

He is superb at teaching math. I have always been good at math, and it came easy to me, but I never cared for it too much up until this year. He makes complicated concepts very easy to understand, and he keeps it fun. We do scavenger hunts outside, make ice cream (measuring is much more fun when ice cream is part of it!), relay races, math darts, putt putt math, and so much more.

Kime & Roach Celebration 3

Commissioner McQueen, Mr. Roach, and Maria pose with sponsors from the Tennessee Business Roundtable, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and the Ayers Foundation.

I could say so many more thing about Mr. Roach, but the one thing that I want to end this essay with is expressing my gratitude for how passionately he teaches and how much he cares about each and every one of us at the McFadden School.