MY FAVORITE TEACHER: Building better 4th graders

“My Favorite Teacher” starts each day with the pledge and an inspiring chant.

Each year, News 8 celebrates the teachers making a difference in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.  The five "My Favorite Teacher" honorees we salute in 2019 were nominated by students, selected by last year's teacher winners, and awarded with a gift card and other items given by Blackhawk Bank and Trust.

BETTENDORF, Iowa – She's only in the fourth grade, but already knows she's met her favorite teacher.

"She cares about our academics, but she really cares about what kind of person we are, and I think that's a very good lesson to have," said Kai Rebro about her Favorite Teacher: Pleasant View fourth grade teacher Meghan Ruth.

Kai explained the day starts perfectly:  after the Pledge of Allegiance comes a pledge to each other.

They recite it in the classroom every day:

"I can choose to win or lose," the students recited in unison.

"It's all in how I see it.  If I think I'm a winner, pretty soon I'll be it."

And then, they clap their hands to a challenge to learn:

"Why are we here?" asked Mrs. Ruth.

"To learn," shouted the students.

"What will you give?" she asked.

"100 percent!"

Mrs. Ruth's fourth grade class at Bettendorf's Pleasant View Elementary starts the same way every day. They wouldn't want it any other way.

"The first day I stepped into the classroom, I knew this was going to be one of my favorite teachers and the best year I would ever had," admitted Kai.

Though Mrs. Ruth teaches the basics, like math,  she believes she has an even greater responsibility for her 26 fourth grade students.

"I start off the year telling parents, 'Hey, we're going to be great mathematicians, we're going to be great readers and great writers, and we're going to be great people, and your kids are going to know how much I care about them," Ruth said.

And they already know.

"'Cause she's one of those people that, like, when you meet, you're like, 'I'm always going to just always remember this person'," said Kai. "And she's just an amazing person."

Because in this class there's time for fractions and also time for hugs.

"I'm doing what I always wanted to do and just making kids feel great," added Mrs. Ruth.