POPLAR GROVE (WREX) – Matt Protz teaches fifth grade social studies at North Boone Upper Elementary School, and his passion for his job keeps him committed to his class day in and day out.
“This is my fourth year teaching fifth grade, and I wouldn’t trade a day,” Protz said.
His students wouldn’t want him to change a thing either, many of them say Protz is their favorite teacher.
“He’s just the best teacher, he’s my favorite,” student Joey Belvedere said. “All the other teachers, we always have homework, and he always gives us time in class to finish it.”
Other than giving time to finish homework, Protz is known for his strong ability to relate to his students, so well that they enjoy coming to class and learning about history.
“Mr. Protz, for me, I feel more comfortable with him. He’s funny, he teaches in a different way than I’ve seen before. He makes class actually fun for you,” said student Danity Lopez.
She said he is definitely her favorite teacher.
Protz said he tries to engage students by showing them he actually cares, so that if he is getting on a student to get work done, they know it is out of a place of care. Protz gets to know students by attending their extracurricular activities like sports games and concerts.
“I make a pretty big effort to support them outside of the classrooms. I make sure I am always at sporting events, academic events, concerts,” Protz said. “I don’t miss those, I can see how much it means to them when I’m there.”
North Boone Upper Elementary Principal said he is always impressed with Protz’s work in and out of the classroom. He said when choosing teachers for the school, he always looks for candidates like Protz, who are dedicated to students’ learning and their lives.
“One of the most impressive qualities of Mr. Protz to me is just how he can relate to what the students like now, as well as teaching history about what happened in the past.” Principal Jamie Pearce said. “That is definitely one of his strengths, and something that I am very impressed with and proud of him for.”
Protz said he loves coming to his job every single day, and he wouldn’t change it for the world.
“I absolutely love my job here. I never feel like I’m going to work when I leave every morning. I feel like I get to live out my dream teaching,” he said.