Student teacher makes a difference

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Michael Rainey has gone from being a model student to a model teacher.

Walking down the hall one Thursday morning at Knox Elementary are three first-graders, each maybe three feet tall. One, a girl, trips and hits the floor. Rainey jumps up to help as the girl screams and tears roll down her face.

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Such is a typical day in Rainey&8217;s life as a student teacher.

Reddick said Rainey has really had an impact on the older boys in the third, fourth and fifth grades.

Rainey, 23, is a Selma native and attended Knox Elementary, which, he said, makes it easy to relate to students and build good relationships with them. Rainey is a senior at Concordia College, where he is majoring in elementary education with a concentration in art.

Rainey came to Knox to complete his observation hours as part of his curriculum requirements.

Rainey assists academic organizations that include Beta Club, and co-sponsors Project S.T.A.M.P., Students Taking Action to Motivate their Peers, a leadership development organization that works with male students in the third, fourth and fifth grades.

The desire to teach first surfaced as a real possibility for Rainey during his sophomore year of high school.

First-grade teacher Sherry Baker, who was teaching when Rainey attended Knox, said students look up to Rainey as a father figure, or maybe an older brother.

Sharon Williams, who taught Rainey in kindergarten, described Rainey as someone who was very energetic and eager to learn.

Williams said she feels Rainey will be an asset to the field of education.