Thanks to Teachers: Tracy Lynn

Photo credit: WLOS Staff

At the Franklin School of Innovation, students want to be part of Tracy Lynn's crew, whether it's playing basketball with his students or in his eighth-grade classroom.

"He's always there for you and always likes to make sure you know the content, but also being able to relate to you and tell you straightforward what you need to know," student Isabella Bevans said of Lynn.

"(He) is able to convey whatever ideas he may be teaching, whether how to find the area of a triangle or how to test the water quality of Hominy Creek," student Emma Mohammed said.

When asked what his favorite part of teaching at The Franklin School of Innovation, Lynn, who is one of the founding teachers, said, "To take part in our learning expedition called 'Water is Life' every year. Being able to get these students out cleaning streams, doing real, meaningful work."

Lynn added that Franklin School of Innovation is the only school in North America with a live stakes nursery to improve water quality along the Hominy Creek and the French Broad River.

Student Emma Mohammed had her doubts about the project at first when she was in Lynn's class last year.

"Putting on the waders that were huge," she recalled. "I just remember thinking, 'Oh, man, this is going to be awful.'"

But, she soon changed her mind.

"We got in the creek, and it rained for two days straight before that. It was so much fun to help. You didn't even realize you were helping because you were running around the creek with your friends," Mohammed said of the experience.

Tracy Lynn has also made a big impact as a crew leader. Crew is somewhat like homeroom, but deeper, as each student shares their feelings and issues with the class.

"Tired and stressed, so yay!" shouts out a student named Rachel.

"What has you stressed, Rachel?" Lynn asked.

"My nana broke her hip and is now in the hospital," Rachel replied.

Lynn says "checking in" with his students is a crucial way for him to support them, and the kids to support each other.

"Knowing that I have crew to go to and be able to talk to, lets me know there is some safety at school and there's safety in the world somewhere," Isabella Bevans said.

"Although it's not a conventional high school -- we don't have homecoming or a football team -- it's still something that's really meaningful, that makes high school fantastic," Mohammed said of her school and teacher.

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