Sally Rimmer, Language Arts Teacher at Clear Creek Middle School in Gresham, Oregon
Nominated By: Linnea Burton (student)
Sally Rimmer is my Language Arts teacher. She cares about her students. She takes time to get to know her students. She adjusts the lesson plans to fit the students mind set. She puts a lot of trust into her students, and she also cares about people’s lives not just inside school, but outside of school too. She is the best teacher you could ever meet.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
She will be teaching a lesson like sentence structure, and if someone doesn’t understand something, she will fix the slide she is showing to help that person understand. If we don’t know what to write down she will highlight it on the slide. Her lessons are general, so she can adjust to other people’s needs. It’s never too complicated. She will show videos, and if we have extra time she will take requests if it has to do with the topic.
She trusts her students. When she needs copies, she immediately lets her students do it. When we do novel studies and something is due and someone hasn’t just quite finished, she will mark it done and let the student finish it, knowing that she can trust her students to finish it by the next time she grades their book.
She cares about her students whether we’re at school or outside of school. For example: I do theatre, and she wants me to keep her up to speed on that. Every day she reminds me to go down to the office. She will check in with students.
She really knows how to make the class laugh when it’s right. She always has answers for questions that people ask her. These descriptions may not be very good because there are no words to describe what she does as a teacher. And there are no words to describe the heart that she has towards her students. But I did my best. She deserves to be recognized as a person.
Congrats, Sally, from all of us at K103! Get to know Sally Rimmer:
What inspired you to become an educator?
I wanted to be a teacher since the 6th grade. I had many supportive teachers that helped me overcome poverty and a tough situation at home. I don't think I would have been successful without the help of these selfless people in my life. Now I want to help other young people. My goal is that my students understand their own self-worth and that they have the power to choose what they want to do with their life.
What do you like most about teaching?
I enjoy my subject, which is Language Arts. Reading is a wonderful way to gain knowledge. However, the thing I love the most about my job is the ability to develop relationships with my students. I am touched whenever I hear from a student that my class had a positive impact on their life.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
Things are always changing! Two years ago I had about 120 students per year. Last year I had about 150 students. This year it is 183 students. It is very tough to give a kid authentic feedback when I have so many papers to grade and forms to fill out.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
I would want to thank the parents of my students. We are on the same team and I appreciate the support they give. Most parents fiercely love their children and dedicate themselves to teaching their child how to be a good person. They are doing a great job. Despite the challenges in society today, I see promise in this next generation. They care about each other, animals, and our planet.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
It is tough to limit this down to one, so please accept two short stories! I once taught a unit about the Civil Rights movement and the legacy of Dr. King. In this particular year, a new monument of Dr. King was being constructed in Washington D.C.. However, the inscription on the monument would be a paraphrase of one of Dr. King's speeches, rather than a direct quote. Personally, I did not agree with that plan because he was such an elegant speaker, why not use his own words? I tried to keep my personal opinion out of the lesson. Maybe I failed at that because my students began to say how they thought it was a bad idea to paraphrase his words. The class ended up writing a letter to the President to explain their point of view. The monument plan was not changed. My students did get a letter back from the President. I gave the letter to a girl who spearheaded the original letter. She lived in foster care.
My other favorite story is about a former student of mine that gave the commencement speech for Clear Creek Middle school two years ago. She was not the student with the highest test scores or the highest GPA. Her scores and grades were very good, but she was not going to be the speaker at commencement. However, she really wanted to deliver her message. So we worked together, she wrote a speech, and I helped her practice it. Our principal listened to her, saw her determination, and decided to have two speeches that year.