826 Valencia is proud to announce that Steve Firestone of Diane Feinstein Elementary School is our Teacher of the Month this September.
Mr. Firestone, who teaches second grade, has made a gigantic and lasting impression on his students, their families, and his fellow educators. From the moment he shakes hands with each student as he or she enters the classroom, Mr. Firestone makes sure that all of his students feel comfortable and excited about learning. Students who formerly did not like to read now devour 50 pages at a time with his support.
“You are the cool kind of teacher,” wrote one student. Mr. Firestone has demonstrated this coolness is so many ways, including art projects that draw on his past as a sculptor, chess tournaments, and individualized attention for every student. “He has cultivated a genuine love of learning in his class by bringing his lessons home to the lives of his students,” wrote a parent. He has also brought his students to the lessons. He took the entire 2nd grade class on an overnight fieldtrip to Fort Funston, which involved extensive planning, organization, and the pitching of army tents for the whole group.
Mr. Firestone welcomed parents on this trip, and he also encourages them to volunteer in the classroom, always making a point to get to know each student’s family. After witnessing his class, one parent wrote, “His manner of interacting with the students is so calm and warm. He really listens to them.”
He applies this same ability to listen to his role as a BTSA mentor to new teachers as his school. He dedicates many hours to meeting with and supporting his mentee, and to reaching out to his larger community as a member of the School Site Council, PTA, the Science Committee, and the Union Building Committee.
In his dynamic approach to teaching, his ability to connect with each student individually, and his mentoring of new teachers, Mr. Firestone demonstrates a selfless commitment to learning. Thank you, Mr. Firestone, for all of your hard work! We’re very fortunate to have a teacher like Mr. Firestone in our community.