June 2015 Top Notch Teacher: Kevin Bradley

Bradley is known to students for his jokes and putting lots of life behind his teaching

At Evergreen Elementary School in Holmen, one teacher bases the success of the school year on the amount of laughter in his classroom.

Students say fifth grade teacher Kevin Bradley can get so into teaching that at the end of the day, he has a little sweat on his forehead.

Bradley has been teaching for 15 years and he said what keeps him teaching is a special bond he has with kids.

“I feel like a kid myself, I don’t want to grow old, I want to remain a kid, and by working with kids I feel that it keeps me grounded to youth,” Bradley said.

Bradley is known to students for his jokes and putting lots of life behind whatever he’s teaching.

“It’s really exciting. There’s always something going on, and you don’t just read from the textbook you do a lot of fun things,” said fifth grader Chloe Lichucki.

“He usually says something funny about it and makes it fun with doing all these activities with it, like we got to get out the microscopes and look at cool stuff under it,” said fifth grader Madeline Beinborn.

Bradley said there is no substitute for hands-on, collaborative learning.

In today’s technological world, Bradley said he tries to teach his students there is more to learning than just what’s on the Internet.

“Life is about digging into books and researching things through the hard work, it’s not all about instant gratification. Sometimes you have to work hard to get what you’re really after,” Bradley said.

As part of his hands-on approach, Bradley wants his students to become part of what they’re learning. He said true learning comes from imagination, so he has his students re-enact things like Civil War and Revolutionary War scenes so they become active learners.

With the school year coming to a close, and his students heading off to middle school next year, Bradley said there is one very important lesson he hopes they take with them.

“I want them to know also that after they leave my classroom, the student-teacher relationship has ended, but the friendship is just beginning,” Bradley said.

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