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May 25, 2020

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Teri Salyer, Ada HS grad, ONU grad, Ada school teacher

"There is no better profession in the world."

Compiled by Darlene Bowers

Welcome to the Ada Icon’s “Ada Teacher Feature.” Here we share thoughts and insights from local teachers who lift up and inspire our students. Let us lift up and inspire these educators as well. Today we meet Teri Salyer.

“I gave up too easily. Math was scary for me!” shares Teri Salyer. Giving up too easily did not remain in Teri’s equation as this Ada and ONU grad is in her 27th year of teaching.  Read on to learn why Teri believes she is in the best profession in the world.

What to do you teach at Ada?
I teach 4th grade Math.

What are the extracurricular activities, groups, clubs, sports you are involved with?
I’m the president of Ada’s licensure committee, which is a group of educators who review and approve contact hours needed to renew teaching licenses for our staff. I also serve as the faculty representative. My duties include making sure the junior high athletic events run as smoothly as possible.

You have a strong Ada connection. Tell us about your schooling. 
I graduated from Ada High School and earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio Northern University. I received my Master’s Degree in Education from The University of Findlay.

How long have you taught? 
This is my 27th year.

Why are you a teacher?
There is no better profession in the world. Every single day a teacher is given the opportunity to inspire others while leading, learning and having fun.

What motivates you? 
My goal is to let my students know that you don’t have to have a “Math Brain” to be able to do Math! I let them know that I did all the wrong things as a mathematics student in elementary and high school.

I gave up too easily. Math was scary for me! In our class, a wrong answer is sometimes celebrated! If we can fix that problem and remember the mistake that was made, that’s a huge part of the process for improving our math skills.

I believe that if my students feel safe and supported in the classroom environment, it creates conditions for math success.

What’s the best thing students can do for you?
In my classroom, we solve many problems on the board. If a student is having trouble, they know I will not give them the answer. I will ask questions, but not give an answer. When a student completes and/or corrects a problem by persevering, it is the best thing he or she could ever do for me.

What’s the best thing parents and caregivers can do for you?
Homework is practice and practice is very important, especially in Math. I give a short assignment most nights. The best thing a parent can do is look over the assignment and ask their child a few questions about the problems on the worksheet.

What makes Ada schools unique or different?
I love having grades K-12 in one building. Our students see the older kids on a regular basis. Many elementary teachers have high school students coming into their classrooms to help file papers and do other jobs for them.

In the past, the elementary have had the pleasure of watching the Ada show choir perform. We also are invited to attend the homecoming pep rally. Also, in a small school setting, I have a relationship with almost all the teachers in the building.

If I have a Math or Science question, I can ask a high school teacher for immediate feedback. How awesome is that!

Can you mention a memorable teaching moment?
I have had many so I’ll choose just a few. Some of my most memorable moments happen in Math. For example, I notice a student has solved a problem differently, and I realize how great that method is!

So I begin incorporating that into my teaching year after year. I always tell the kids that I learned this from a student. That let's them know that we are all on the same path…getting better at Math.

The teacher can be the student, and the student, the teacher. Another memorable moment happened earlier this school year. A person came up to me at a basketball game and pointed out a young adult (his daughter) in the stands. He told me that I was the reason she was in college and so successful. I remembered her from second grade and the struggles she had. It was certainly a treasured moment that I won’t ever forget.

What excites, interests and captivates you inside the classroom?
I love when my students realize that our class is a family that respects and cares for one another. They can count on me to be there for them always.

What excites, interests, captivates you outside the classroom?
Spending time with my family, including two beautiful grandchildren, is so important to me. I can’t wait to welcome another grandchild to our family in May. I love taking photos of family and at many school events. I also enjoy reading and riding my bike.

If you weren’t a teacher what would you do/be doing?
I would possibly be doing something in the medical field.