One teacher taught Mel Schram how to achieve the career of his dreams.
“He said ‘you’d make a great teacher’ so I ran with it,” remembers Mel Schram, ateacher at Onaga Elementary School in Yucca Valley who teaches fourth and fifth graders.
Schram says he was told just that when he was in seventh grade. Now, Mr. Schram is in his 35th year of teaching.
“He is just amazing,” says fifth grader Nikole Cody.
“Every kid wants to be in his class,” says Onaga Elementary School Principal Jessie Simpson.
In Mr. Schram’s class, the children never open a book and they never hear a lecture. Instead, they’re in charge of their own learning.
“They’re learning responsibility, to take care of business which is the best thing for them to learn,” says Schram.
“I don’t want to let him down because if he thinks we can do it, we can do it,” says fifth grader Jade Adair.
Mr. Schram focuses on each individual student giving them tasks to help them grow. He letsstudents run class. They take care of grades, assignments and assigning detention.
Instead of typical assignments, the children do projects and hands-on work. The dedicated teacher spends hours planning fun, educational activities.
“I was awake at 3:27 a.m. to get ready for the day. I had to go to Home Depot to get plaster and all of that,” Schram explains. “This is my life.”
Mr. Schram will retire next year. He says education standards pushed out his style of teaching.
“If you want to do this structured stuff, that’s fine. But I have a hard time doing that,” says Schram.
When Mr. Schram says goodbye to the classroom, his path will come full circle. He’s now the teacher inspiring others.
“I want to be a teacher just like Mr. Schram,” says Cody.