Thanks to Teachers: Mary Griffin

Thanks to Teachers: Mary Griffin

As the clock runs, the pressure is on in Mary Griffin's sixth-grade math class at Brevard Middle School.

Students urgently work with their teams to crack the code allowing them to unlock clues leading to the missing reindeer.

It's all part of the holiday breakout game 'Reindeer Rescue Hunt for Rudolph.' "It requires them to do some decimal operations, work as teams, collaborates with one another, celebrates the things that work out, and, you know, learn from their mistakes," Griffin explains.

Griffin, whose dad was a teacher, says she always wanted to teach. "Middle school was years I really enjoyed school, and you don't hear that a lot from people in their middle school experiences," Griffin recalls.

It certainly did not start out that way for sixth grader Amber Hall. "It's really scary because you don't know what's going to happen," says Amber.

But, Amber, who nominated Ms. Griffin, says her math teacher quickly made her feel comfortable. "She's like 'it's okay. Everything is fine. I will help you with your schedule." remembers Amber.

Meanwhile, classmate Jesse Phillips, who recently moved here without knowing anyone, says Ms. Griffin's math games helped him make friends. "Teamwork...we get to know each other, and we kind of learn about each other in our skills and weaknesses, and really just have fun with each other," says Jesse.

"I look back at teachers who specifically created lessons that were very engaging, that made me excited to want to learn," says Griffin of her own middle school years.

Now, in her 7th year of teaching, Griffin is happy to pass on that love of learning, and, hopefully, that enjoyable middle school experience. "I had always hated math, but now, I really like it," says Amber, smiling.

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