Mar 20, 2009

Elementary Teacher Gives Students the World

They ate with chopsticks in Japan, made piñatas and dove into chips and salsa in
Mexico and threw boomerangs in Australia.

And on Thursday and Friday, Debbie Suhrie's first-grade students ate fruit kabobs as they kicked back at their desks and listened to steel drum music in their Jamaican-themed classroom.

Every six weeks, Suhrie's students pack their bags, prepare their passports and head out for a cultural classroom adventure.

Suhrie, 55, believes in the old saying, "If you can reach them, you can teach them." So she taps into her creativity to figure out how to reach every one of her students.

Now that's what creative teaching is all about! This teacher was nominated for, awarded and certainly earned the Golden Apple Award.

Wouldn't it be amazing if all, or at least many more, teachers went above and beyond the call of duty to teach our children. Think of the possibilities. Countless students could be reached with creative teaching.

Kudos to you, Mrs. Suhrie. You wouldn't want to relocate to Virginia any time soon would you?

You can read the article in its entirety via


  1. "Wouldn't it be amazing if all, or at least many more, teachers went above and beyond the call of duty to teach our children. Think of the possibilities. Countless students could be reached with creative teaching."

    I wholeheartedly agree. Creative teaching would reach children who have ADHD. The tools are in place, now we just need people to think outside the box.

    There was not one ounce of creative energy in any of the classroom when I was a child. I often think about how my education would have turned out if an adult with ADHD taught the classes.

  2. Plenty of teachers DO go above and beyond the call. And, no matter what they do, it is not going to make a child's distractibility, inattention, and impulsivity disappear. Quit blaming the teachers, Don. Parents also need to do their job in getting proper care for these children. And parents who have ADHD are sometimes the least equipped to do that. So, teachers get to deal with THAT, too. Get a clue, Don.

  3. Hello, I just wanted to say that I really am happy to see a blog like this. We must give our support systems a big hug and thank you. I found this site where you can do such a thing.

  4. Very well said, that teachers need to understand about the children in their class. And when Its a special child like ADHD or one having asperger`s syndrome, then the skill of a teacher also becomes important. Our training and tutorialsfor teachers are helpful in making them work on it, in a way that will help all the students.It will also help in reducing the burden of parents.

  5. Mrs.Suhrie's story made me smile and I'm sure we would all wish to have a child in her class. I am a retired teacher with 30 years experience in the classroom and more years as a mother and grandmother of TS and sensory sensitive offspring. Upon retirement, I embarked on an interesting project with my daughter who undertook the challenge of creating a safe, portable and effective chewable fidget for special needs individuals. Our unique Kid Companion was designed to North American safety standards from breakaway clasps, to lanyard to pendants. It can be worn around the neck or through belt hoops and can even be personalized. Please visit for more information. I would appreciate your qualified feedback :)
    Lorna d’Entremont

  6. If we have more teachers like this we would score higher than Japan.

  7. The strategies that this teacher uses should be used in every classroom. When students are given authentic assignments,encouraged to critically think as well as use hands-on activities, they are able to make real world conections. By incorporating salsa into the lesson when learning about Mexico or chopsticks when teaching about Japan, learners are able to get a feel of the culture. When teaching my students,I try to think outside of the box and use my creativity to gain their interest. I bring in currency, clothing, food, literature and sometimes a guest speaker to extend the lesson. All children are teachable whether they have ADHD, LD or not. We as teachers must find ways to help them learn on their levels. The sharing of ideas on blogs is a way to do just that.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love comments and feedback!