Now in his fifth year teaching kindergarten at McBrien Elementary School, Brent Page has established a reputation among students and teachers as being an innovative, caring mentor.
After completing his teacher's license at Lee University, Mr. Page worked at a number of elementary levels.
He eventually decided to teach kindergartners, but the decision did not come easily.
"Originally I didn't know if I wanted to teach kindergarten, but in college, kindergarten is its own course. So I took that, and I felt like because it was going to be added to my certification area, I needed to have lots of experience in it," he said.
An enthusiastic artist and musician, Mr. Page often uses puppetry and piano music in the classroom. He said using such techniques helps his students recognize transitions and patterns.
"I have to get them to put something on the page and to realize that they can do it," said Mr. Page.
"So I talk about how I could sit at the piano and say, 'I can't, I can't, I can't. I don't know how to do it. I can't do it,' and nothing would ever happen. But it was the fact that I had to try, and when I first did (play), it sounded horrible. But I kept it up and kept it up and practiced and practiced, and I got better," he said.
Mr. Page is said to have few discipline problems in his classroom.
"For me, the key for discipline is building the relationship with the children," he said. "It starts with that. When you have a good relationship with the children, they go home and talk about you in a positive way."
Mr. Page is not just popular among his students. Several teachers at McBrien, especially new ones, said they appreciate the training and advice he gives them.
"When you're a first-year teacher, you have a lot of challenges anyway, and you really do need lots of support in a lot of different ways," Mr. Page said. "So I just made the commitment to when we have new people in our building, I need to do as much as I can for them to make sure that they are having the best experience possible."
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