Rhett Hyman, 4th-5th Grade Blend Teacher at East Orient Elementary in Gresham, Oregon
Nominator: Jenny Blaire (parent)
Both of my children have had the pleasure of being students of Mr. Hyman. When my oldest was in his class (5th), my youngest was hospitalized (2nd) and had a difficult time starting the school year. Mr. Hyman checked in with us to be sure his student was doing ok, as he knew she'd be worried about her little sister. Our youngest was extremely shy, and he made a point to say hi to her, and talk to her every time he saw her at school. She qualified for the spelling bee, but did not want to participate due to her shyness. He supported and encouraged her, and not only did she participate, but she has qualified and participated each year since. She is now a student of his for the second year, and she is excelling in school, is no longer as shy and reserved as she used to be, and she gives him the credit. Both of my children don't hesitate to say that Mr. Hyman is the best teacher they've ever had. My oldest is an 8th grader who has had many great teachers in middle school, but none have surpassed Mr. Hyman. He is upbeat and positive always, and makes learning fun and interesting. A recent example is playing Kahoot to become more fluent with math. The game is fun, and the students want to win, so they try their hardest to learn and win. He lets the students have freedoms to experience independence, but is always in control of the class. Mr. Hyman is a very fun, positive and inspirational teacher, and my children will always remember him.
Congrats, Rhett, from all of us at K103! Get to know Rhett Hyman:
What inspired you to become an educator?
I went to the University of Oregon and have a degree in Political Science. I had tried a few other careers after I graduated, and just hadn’t quite found my niche. I heard an ad on the radio about a master’s program in teaching at Concordia, and for some reason I had never quite thought about that as an option for me. But once the idea was in my mind, I couldn’t let it go. I wanted to make a positive impact on the world and other lives and I believed then and still now 13 years later that I get the opportunity to do that!
What do you like most about teaching?
There are so many things to like about teaching! I work at a wonderful school alongside incredible teachers and parents who support us tremendously. The students are what drives me to teach and what I enjoy most about the profession of teaching. They come each day ready to learn and I have the honor and privilege to teach them so many various topics from math, civil rights, science etc, and then I see the growth they make as students and as people. I love seeing it click in their minds. They develop such confidence over the course of the year and their responsibility and maturity grows as well.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
The students have changed the most. When I first started teaching the iPhone wasn’t even around and now the technology that we have available is amazing and seeing the students use it to their benefit in the classroom is awesome.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
It is very simple, “thank you for allowing me the privilege to teach your child; it truly is an honor.”
Share a favorite story about your favorite teacher/educator.
I will never forget Mr. Forrest Smith. He was my 5th grade teacher at Spencer Butte Middle School in Eugene, Oregon. Mr. Smith was a teacher who knew how to connect with his students and his calm presence made it an absolute joy to be a student in his classroom.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
There are so many great stories about students over the years it is really hard to pinpoint just one. Student’s everyday bring a smile to my face. Whether they did something amazing over the weekend, realized that they accomplished a goal in school or did something funny that I will never forget, my students bring me such joy each in everyday in so many different ways.