An Ingham County educator known for going above and beyond to keep his students motivated to learn during the pandemic has been honored with an Excellence in Education award from the Michigan Lottery.
The award winner, Jeffrey Boyer, is a third grade teacher at Forest View Elementary School. The school is part of the Lansing School District.
The Michigan Lottery established the Excellence in Education awards in 2014 to recognize outstanding public-school educators across the state during the school year.
Winners of the weekly award receive a plaque, a $1,500 cash prize, and a $500 grant to their classroom, school, or school district. One of the weekly winners will be selected as the Educator of the Year and will receive a $10,000 cash prize.
Each winner also is featured in a news segment on the Lottery’s media partner stations: WXYZ-TV in Detroit, FOX 17 in Grand Rapids, FOX 47 in Lansing, and WNEM-TV in Saginaw. The news segment featuring Boyer will air this evening.
Boyer said he was attracted to a career in education because he wanted to make a difference in children’s lives.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher after traveling with a circus for a few years. I want to make a difference in children’s lives by driving them to be productive members of society and encouraging them to see education as a positive thing.”
Boyer said his favorite activity to do with his students is anything that gets them actively involved in the learning process.
“I love doing activities with my students that get them actively involved in the learning process and help them to understand our world and the things in it. During a school year where I was teaching completely remote, which is the opposite of my teaching style, I had to think ‘outside of the classroom.’ I created a YouTube channel called Boyer the Teacher Guy and made educational videos.
“I also created guided reading documents, drag and drop activities, and other remote resources that didn’t exist previously. I found ways to keep my third graders active during remote learning. When reading a story about farm life, students stood up in their homes and pretended to do farm chores like pumping water from a well, feeding chickens, and gathering eggs. To start class, I took my laptop outside to my flag pole so we could say the pledge of allegiance. I also drove to my students’ homes once a month to give them prizes for doing well and to give them more school supplies. I did whatever it took to help my students be successful during remote learning.”
A grandmother of Boyer’s former students nominated him for the award. The nomination cited how he went above and beyond to keep his students motivated to continue learning during the pandemic.
“During the pandemic, Mr. Boyer stopped by his students’ homes and dropped off goody bags to keep his students motivated to continue learning. He purchased pencils, toys, books, etc. out of pocket. To keep third graders engaged, he performed magic tricks and created educational games that kids would play with their parents that kept them learning. He managed to find a way to continue online teaching and increase children education to continue to fourth grade. The children know his expectations and rise to meet them.”
Boyer earned a bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University. He has been an educator for 31 years, the last seven with the Lansing School District.
Outstanding public-school educators may be nominated for an Excellence in Education award at http://bit.ly/ExcellenceInEducation or through the websites of the Lottery’s media partner stations.
Excellence in Education award nominees are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Excellence – Their work consistently helps students and/or their schools or school districts advance to higher levels of academic achievement.
- Dedication – They consistently go above and beyond expectations to help students succeed.
- Inspiration – Their work inspires others around them to exceed expectations either academically or professionally.
- Leadership – They demonstrate clear leadership skills in their positions with their school or school districts.
- Effectiveness – The nominee’s work has clear and positive results on the educational advancement of students within the school or school district.