in her 4th-grade class, mcintyre's love of learning is contagious
by shannon geis
lauren mcintyre, 25, says she loves teaching 4th grade because students are just old enough to be independent, but young enough to still be excited by education.
"they are like sponges," said mcintyre, who has been teaching at p.s. 166 for four years. "they are into everything and always want to learn more."
mcintyre, a graduate of fordham university, said she wanted to be a teacher since she was little. in high school, she worked with many programs that allowed her to teach younger students.
"i just loved helping others learn new things," she said. "it's just so rewarding."
the new jersey native said she also enjoys making a personal connection with each student. former students come back and have lunch with her to catch up.
"it's very rewarding to have developed that kind of relationship with my students," she said.
one former student, robbie frants, said, "fourth grade was the best year at p.s. 166 i ever had."
mcintyre uses facial expressions as an innovative way to catch students' attention.
"she might open her mouth wide in surprise if she asks a really simple math problem and no one raises their hand. she knows that we all know the answer," said anna frants, a current student in mcintyre's class. "it's funny. it makes us laugh and it makes kids start thinking more and pay attention."
mcintyre is also particularly proud of her read-aloud voices.
"my students always tell me that the voices i make when i'm reading books out loud are wonderful," she said.
julia weston frants, anna's and robbie's mother, said it is obvious how much time and care mcintyre puts into her class.
"i've noticed that she has a rich appreciation for the material that she presents," frants said. "she makes things understandable. she doesn't lecture. she just has the right touch, the humorous touch. but she still commands their respect. she is attuned to how they need to learn. "
connections with p.s. 166 colleagues and parents are also a big part of her classroom.
"i have been very lucky with my colleagues. we are great at working together and everyone is very supportive," mcintyre said. "the parents are also great with giving me feedback and helping out with projects."
mcintyre, who is engaged and currently lives in park slope, brooklyn, said all she can hope for is to continue making an impact on students' lives.
"i want to try to make sure that every day, my students leave differently than they came in," she said, "whether that means they learned something new, or overcame an obstacle."
lauren mcintyre 4th grade, p.s. 166