A big congratulations to our May Teacher of the Month, Adam Weis! Mr. Weis is a fifth grade teacher at Berkeley Arts Magnet (BAM). We received an astounding number of letters—sixteen, to be exact—from students, parents, school administrators, and teachers in support of Mr. Weis’ nomination. The dedication, compassion, and enthusiasm that Mr. Weis brings to his work every day shines through. He is, in the words of one parent, “a modern-day hero.”
Mr. Weis is, to put it simply, a one-of-a-kind teacher. As one of his students says, “Mr. Weis puts his heart, feet, and legs into his job.” He uses puppetry, art, music, and theater to bring concepts to life for his students. As a former student remembers, “He uses his skill on the guitar to write super cool educational songs and parodies.” Mr. Weis is also committed to making learning accessible for everyone because, as a former student says, “he [thinks] of us as people, not just names and progress reports.” He takes special care to differentiate his instruction to meet the needs of English Language Learners and students with special needs. In addition, he encourages his students to pursue their intellectual passions. “By being curious,” one parent remarks, “he inspires curiosity.” To this end, he runs Math Luncheon, which gathers students to problem solve complex math problems and puzzles together.
Mr. Weis is not just an incredible educator, he’s also extremely involved in the BAM community. As one parent commented, “Adam, is without exaggeration, the glue of the BAM community—first to arrive, last to leave, and critically important in between.” A man of many skills, he leads the BAM Student Council, serves as the Teacher Representative on the Executive PTA board, coordinates the BAM Talent Show and annual poetry reading, and gives presentations on topics as wide-ranging as cyber safety and earthquake preparedness. One of his biggest projects is the week-long, outdoor-education 5th grade field trip he organizes every year. Planning this trip requires a “great amount of planning, fundraising, and organizing,” but his hard work ensures that the field trip is available to all students, regardless of ability to pay.
Finally, Mr. Weis provides a high level of support to his fellow colleagues. As the BAM principal states, Mr. Weis consistently demonstrates a “high level of leadership, both in his classroom and with his colleagues…he is always sharing the tricks of the trade and is continuously helping newer teachers managing the many facets of our profession.” Described by one colleague as “talented, dedicated, compassionate, creative, and collaborative,” Mr. Weis’ willingness to try new and creative approaches to teaching inspires other teachers in his community to do the same. Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Weis makes school fun and accessible for all. One of his colleagues said it best: “I firmly believe that the greatest teachers are the ones who can take students who have struggled the most, who have felt that school is not the place they feel they belong, and make them feel that they have a place in school and that someone cares.” Thank you, Mr. Weis, for all the of the extraordinary work that you do.
Read more about our Teacher of the Month program.