Herrick brings unique style to IMS

By

News

September 14, 2013 - 12:00 AM

In room 101 at Iola Middle School, eighth grade English students separate into two teams, team Charlie and team Algernon. Their teacher, Anthony Herrick, passes out mazes to the two teams and tells them they have to complete the mazes in a certain amount of time. The prize is knowing which team is more intelligent.
One team whizzes through the maze while the other struggles and takes longer. Students start to realize there is a difference in the mazes.
“Hey, their mazes are easier,” one student points out.
There’s a catch. The mazes are exactly the same but one is printed bigger than the other. The point of the exercise is to teach the students a lesson from the book they are studying, “Flowers for Algernon.”
Herrick is new to IMS this year and teaches eighth grade English and Read 180. Read 180 is a course that helps struggling readers get to their grade’s reading level. He uses exercises like the maze to make learning fun for his students.
Grammar can be a tough subject for students to learn. Herrick makes grammar lessons as easy as pie.
He molds whip cream pies in the front of his classroom. He then asks for a volunteer to come up to the front. He said students are sometimes hesitant to approach him because they don’t know the motive behind the pies.
He teaches his students how to write in active voice by having the student push the fluffy pie into his face.
“I want to get them excited about grammar,” he said.
Previously he taught at Olathe North as a part-time teacher but was looking for a full-time job.
He lives in Garnett and started looking around the area.
“I love the small town feel where kids can still ride their bikes to school,” he said.
He is originally from Syracuse, N.Y. and his migration to the southeast Kansas area is a “long one.”
“A few years ago New York was laying off teachers with 20 to 25 years of experience so I decided to travel to different places,” he said.
He traveled to North Carolina, down to Florida and over to Tennessee. The idea of moving to Kansas hadn’t crossed his mind until a friend tried to persuade him to pack up and see what the state had to offer.
“I said I would come for a week,” he said. He ended up “falling in love with it.”
The communities of small towns are what convinced him it was the right place.
“Everyone waves at you and the community is involved with the kids,” he said.

Becoming a teacher was something Herrick knew he wanted to do but took awhile to realize it.
“Ever since I was little I enjoyed English. I had a great English teacher in elementary school. When I got to college I asked myself ‘what can I do with English?’”
He originally went to school for psychology and then took a break from school. During his break he had numerous jobs and had the opportunity to coach. He coached a junior college ice hockey team and realized he really enjoyed teaching. He earned his master’s at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.
“I wanted to go back and I reached my goal in the around about way,” he said. “I’m the happiest I’ve been.”
In the future he hopes to get involved in helping with sports at IMS.
“I want to be more active in kids’ lives,” he said.
Currently he serves on the curriculum committee, IPI committee and positive behavior committee.
His goal for students is to get them prepared for high school.
“If they can understand it here they won’t be as shocked when they get to the high school level,” he said.
His students just finished a six-page autobiography. He assigned six pages but they said they couldn’t write that much so he agreed to cut it back. As the students began writing they started asking if having seven pages was all right.
“The kids asked to read ‘The Outsiders’ and we have a creative writing unit,” he said. “They have to come up with a fable and create a video for their fable.”
Although he still lives in Garnett he comes to Iola on the weekends. Herrick is a “big sports fan” and used to play ice hockey. In his free time he enjoys doing fixer upper projects on his home and likes to do yard work.
In room 101 at Iola Middle School, eighth grade English students separate into two teams, team Charlie and team Algernon. Their teacher, Anthony Herrick, passes out mazes to the two teams and tells them they have to complete the mazes in a certain amount of time. The prize is knowing which team is more intelligent.
One team whizzes through the maze while the other struggles and takes longer. Students start to realize there is a difference in the mazes.
“Hey, their mazes are easier,” one student points out.
There’s a catch. The mazes are exactly the same but one is printed bigger than the other. The point of the exercise is to teach the students a lesson from the book they are studying, “Flowers for Algernon.”
Herrick is new to IMS this year and teaches eighth grade English and Read 180. Read 180 is a course that helps struggling readers get to their grade’s reading level. He uses exercises like the maze to make learning fun for his students.
Grammar can be a tough subject for students to learn. Herrick makes grammar lessons as easy as pie.
He molds whip cream pies in the front of his classroom. He then asks for a volunteer to come up to the front. He said students are sometimes hesitant to approach him because they don’t know the motive behind the pies.
He teaches his students how to write in active voice by having the student push the fluffy pie into his face.
“I want to get them excited about grammar,” he said.
Previously he taught at Olathe North as a part-time teacher but was looking for a full-time job.
He lives in Garnett and started looking around the area.
“I love the small town feel where kids can still ride their bikes to school,” he said.
He is originally from Syracuse, N.Y. and his migration to the southeast Kansas area is a “long one.”
“A few years ago New York was laying off teachers with 20 to 25 years of experience so I decided to travel to different places,” he said.
He traveled to North Carolina, down to Florida and over to Tennessee. The idea of moving to Kansas hadn’t crossed his mind until a friend tried to persuade him to pack up and see what the state had to offer.
“I said I would come for a week,” he said. He ended up “falling in love with it.”
The communities of small towns are what convinced him it was the right place.
“Everyone waves at you and the community is involved with the kids,” he said.

Becoming a teacher was something Herrick knew he wanted to do but took awhile to realize it.
“Ever since I was little I enjoyed English. I had a great English teacher in elementary school. When I got to college I asked myself ‘what can I do with English?’”
He originally went to school for psychology and then took a break from school. During his break he had numerous jobs and had the opportunity to coach. He coached a junior college ice hockey team and realized he really enjoyed teaching. He earned his master’s at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.
“I wanted to go back and I reached my goal in the around about way,” he said. “I’m the happiest I’ve been.”
In the future he hopes to get involved in helping with sports at IMS.
“I want to be more active in kids’ lives,” he said.
Currently he serves on the curriculum committee, IPI committee and positive behavior committee.
His goal for students is to get them prepared for high school.
“If they can understand it here they won’t be as shocked when they get to the high school level,” he said.
His students just finished a six-page autobiography. He assigned six pages but they said they couldn’t write that much so he agreed to cut it back. As the students began writing they started asking if having seven pages was all right.
“The kids asked to read ‘The Outsiders’ and we have a creative writing unit,” he said. “They have to come up with a fable and create a video for their fable.”
Although he still lives in Garnett he comes to Iola on the weekends. Herrick is a “big sports fan” and used to play ice hockey. In his free time he enjoys doing fixer upper projects on his home and likes to do yard work.

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