AUSTIN, Minn. - Now that school is back in session it's time to announce our first Golden Apple Award winner of 2019.
Playing games like Fortnite is usually something you think students do alone at home, but in this case Mr. Brandon Soller is using gaming to foster friendships and increase learning in the classroom. That’s one reason why he is this week’s Golden Apple Award winner.
“There's an old saying, 'be the teacher you needed when you were a kid,' so I try to live that,” says Soller.
Mr. Soller teaches social studies to kids like Grant Marreel at Ellis Middle School in Austin.
“I enjoy him as a teacher because he makes learning fun and he sets up clubs for us to make friends,” says Marreel.
Mr. Soller has Marreel's dad to thank for the Golden Apple Award. He nominated Mr. Soller because of the wide-range of teaching strategies he uses to capture student's attention and imagination. He also appreciates the time Mr. Soller dedicates to students after school hours during game club.
“Here at Austin there's a lot of us that really focus on building relationships and taking that extra step for kids to feel comfortable but to also make them want to be at school and make friends,” says Soller.
So whether it's playing Fortnite or Super Mario Brothers, game club is helping students socially and academically.
“It's really helped me move here to have some friends to socialize with,” says Marreel as it is his first year in a new district.
“They are able to come in play with their friends for a half hour. They start the day out right and I think it puts them in a better mood and they are more relaxed throughout the day,” says Soller.
As for how it feels to be a Golden Apple Award winner…
“It’s a pretty good feeling.”
Congratulations to Mr. Soller!
If you want to nominate your teacher click here.