ROCKFORD (WREX) – In one classroom in Rockford, students get to channel their inner superhero on a daily basis.
Theresa Monson’s third grade classroom at Brookview Elementary is covered from wall-to-wall in superhero action words and posters. There are even capes hanging on the wall, waiting for a well-behaved student to get the chance to transform into a superhero.
“Who can give a compliment to someone else on why they deserve a cape?” Monson said.
When students do something extraordinary in class, they receive a cape. In Wednesday’s class, students got to award their peers a cape to wear by giving them a compliment.
“They feel empowered, they feel like a mini superhero in our community when they do something really well, when they have that moment of just like “I totally got it!’ and when they see someone else have that moment as well,” Monson said.
She said she started using the superhero theme because her family loves them. She said she uses the theme to teach her students how to be extraordinary in all that they do, inside and outside of the classroom.
Monson said she thinks teaching her students behavioral learning is just as important as academics.
Each Wednesday, the students write a compliment to one of their classmates on a piece of paper, which is then added to the paper chain that hangs above the classroom.
“The spiderman web that’s up on the ceiling with all the compliments just keeps growing, it was very very small and lately its gotten a lot bigger,” Teacher Val Badour said.
Monson’s students have learned a lot about kindness this year, which might be one reason they wanted to do something kind for their teacher.
“She was having an especially tough morning last week, and the kids said ‘she’s so wonderful, she’s so great, we just love her.'” Badour said. “And one of the kids said ‘can we just nominate her for something?’ and I said well there is teacher of the week.”
Two of Monson’s students wrote letters to 13 WREX on why their teacher is so deserving of the award, and Badour said all of the students had a part in the nomination.
“She’s like an awesome teacher, she’s like a super teacher,” student Amai Purevdorg said.