TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - During the school year we feature a special teacher each month that you, are viewers have selected.
April's Teacher of the Month is an 8th grade math teacher at Trumann Intermediate. Let me introduce you to Kyle Helms.
Standing on the football field watching 8th grade math students use giant sling shots to shoot water balloons makes a person think, "This is not a typical math class for sure."
Grabbing Helms for just a second he told me what the students were trying to do.
"We're wanting to see if there is a correlation or relationship between how far we can launch a water balloon and over here how far we can throw a football." Helms said. He turned as one of the balloons exploded all over it's female launcher. "Hold it like a baby." Helms coached.
Helms is in his 8th year of teaching, his third at Trumann Intermediate. He says his firm belief in God dictates his style of teaching.
"I've been shown the perfect example of care through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." He said, "So I try to show them care as a math teacher by providing those learning environments by learning with one another."
That seemed obvious as the kids worked together to launch balloons, and footballs and quickly took turns to be on the measuring end down field.
Math may not be the most popular class for a student but with block or extended periods for math that they have in Trumann, Helms says the kids get more out of it.
"As a math teacher I build relationships with the kids every day and provide a learning environment where students can work together and strive and have success together." Helms pointed out as we headed back into the classroom.
"And," he said. "The learning is very hands on, it's very interactive between students, it's fun. It's real world orientated and ultimately engages and helps the students learn, I believe at a really high level."
Back in the classroom the data from the balloons and footballs was quickly plotted on graphs. The discussion then was about correlation of water v. pigskin. Some students said yes, others said no. Helms encouraged discussion on both sides.
For some students, teachers may be their best role models that they encounter in their formative years. "Is that true?" I asked Helms.
Helms, "It depends on the teacher. It depends on whether they really strive to work with their students and make a difference in their lives."
Helms says over the years he has been teaching, he feels there is one important observation he can make.
He pointed at his head and heart. "Generally students don't care what I know as a teacher unless they know that I care about them."
Helms said every day he tries to live his life as an example. "Showing them an example of a Christian man who loves the Lord. I try to love them by working with them every day to the best ability that I have."
We have one more month left before picking our Teacher of the Year.
If you would like to nominate your favorite teacher, go to the far right column and scroll down to the middle of the page and click on the Teacher of the Year link and fill out the form.