BYRON (WREX) – For some students at Mary Morgan Elementary School, it was a bit nerve-wracking knowing they would have a male teacher for 5th grade.
“By 5th grade they haven’t had very many male teachers, and so they’re unsure what they’re going to get with me, and then it turns out, they know I care,” 5th Grade Teacher Ken Franchi said.
But in no time, students warm up to Mr. Franchi, and realize he is one of the most caring teachers they’ve ever had. And that’s something Franchi works hard to achieve.
“They don’t care what you know until they know that you care,” he said.
His students now know he truly cares about them, because he makes sure to build a relationship with each student at the beginning of the year.
One student, Maddie Smith, who has a medical condition, said Franchi is extremely accommodating and makes sure she has everything she needs to succeed.
“He’s very caring and kind and he cares about how his students feel. He’s not just a teacher that wants to just be a teacher, he actually cares about us,” Smith said.
Principal Steve Stewart said Franchi’s rapport with students is definitely what makes him such an asset to Mary Morgan Elementary.
“The genuine caring he has for his students, and really the way he can build relationships with any student in the classroom. He just does a great job building a rapport with them. If the students don’t know you care they’re not going to work as hard. He holds them all to high expectations, but he cares for each of this students tremendously,” Stewart said.
Franchi said he knows it’s the only way to get students anywhere in terms of academics.
“We use that as a a means of establishing trust and then when we are asking them to do something that’s out of the box, you look them in the eyes and say its going to be alright, the worst thing that’s going to happen is that you’re going to fail and then if you fail we will pick up the pieces and figure out what went wrong,” he said.
He said he has a history of teaching students in their capstone year throughout his career. Therefore, he said he has a lot of experience getting students ready for their next step in their academic career.
“I am that one that’s like listen this is the year that we really gotta get you ready. There is big things coming, but we really gotta get you ready,” he said.
It’s no secret that students have no issue growing to love having Mr. Franchi as their classroom teacher.
“He’s like the best teacher ever,” student Aliza Ritter said.