Thanks to Teachers: Don Schiffhauer

Thanks to Teachers: Don Schiffhauer

In Don Schiffhauer's sixth grade science class at Madison Middle School, there is plenty of talk, but even more action. Today, the students are learning about how the temperature of water can change density and solubility rates. "I like how we do the experiments with the hot water and the cold water, and, like, making stuff disappear in the water," says sixth grader Kolby Lawson. "That's really fun."

Schiffhauer, who is in his third year of teaching at Madison Middle, says making science fun and taking the pressure off are keys to sixth grade success. "Students know if they make mistakes, we're going to fix them," says Schiffhauer. "If they don't understand stuff, we just keep working on it until we fix it, because, that's what science is all about." It's a method student Shelby Reece appreciates. "He's like, 'Just take your time. Make sure you understand it.' And, if I understand it better, I will probably do better with it," says Reece, adding, "so, that's why he's a really good teacher."

Schiffhauer spent many years in the grocery industry training adults before he became a teacher. He says he prefers teaching the sixth graders by far. "Adults think, 'Okay, this is the way I have to do it,' because they're more rigid," explains Schiffhauer. "Children are just open to learning a lot of different stuff, so they're easier to work with. Meanwhile, Shelby Reece thinks she may have found her future career. "I would like to be a teacher, maybe. So, I might be like, a sixth grade science teacher because I really like that class," says Reece.