Cantley says some kids learn by doing, some by visuals, and some by listening. She says its her job to find a way to reach them all.
During a recent lesson on the Holocaust, she provided narration to a video. In Cantley’s class, students no longer find learning limited to what they can write down with a pen or pencil.
Take Quinton Phillips, for example. He may have trouble pronouncing foreign language terms, but he knows what they mean. Putting the terms on the wall and asking him about them, Phillips can point them out with a stick. "Which word means the school you graduated from?" asks Cantley. "Alma Mater," Phillips quickly points out.
Cantley also finds ways to tailor lessons toward each students talents. "I have one in here that’s a fisher and a hunter… if I give him a writing prompt about fishing and hunting he’s fine. Give him a writing prompt about a social issue he doesn’t care about it."
Cantley’s effort and willingness to invest her personal time in her students helps build their confidence, putting them on a path toward graduation. Freshman Rachel Wathson says "she really cares about us doing our best and everything and she really wants us to try hard and everything."
Cantley says "when they leave here, I want to see them out on the streets and say hey, do you have a job? What are you contributing back to the community?" With Cantley’s help, they’ll be able to do just that.
Cantley hopes her story attracts the attention of Toby Keith. Several of her students respond to his music and would like to meet him.
If you know a teacher deserving of the Golden Apple Award, pick up a nomination form at Bi-Lo or click here to fill one out online.