One seventh grade teacher in Central Georgia caught his students' attention with humor. This week's Junior Journalist Report brings us to Banks Stephens Middle School in Forsyth.
Joshua Ridley teaches seventh grade Social Studies and he says he hasn't been teaching long.
"This is my first year," says Ridley. He says he was a paraprofessional last year, but this is his first year with his own class.
Jasmine Mann, a student in Ridley's class says he's the best teacher she's ever had. She says she wrote a letter nominating Ridley because, "He's always there to support us."
Ridley's students says he uses humor to make their lessons fun.
"He tells a lot of jokes," says seventh grader, Trey Webb.
"He makes me laugh," says Mann.
His students even call him 'Mr. Awesome.' Ridley says, "If I have to goof off a little bit while still maintaining the learning environment, I'll do that. I love laughing. I love making people laugh and it's a way of engaging the students, and if they're engaged, they're learning."
Seventh grader Sunny Sandefur says she looks forward to coming to Mr. Ridley's social studies class. "He makes it not just reading out of a book and doing worksheets. He actually interacts with the class," says Sandefur.
"Most teachers just give you a book and you have to learn it and read it, but he helps you go through it," says Webb.
Ridley says, as a foster child, his childhood was rough and he wants his students to know everyone can achieve. "No matter where they come from, they still have the opportunity to succeed," says Ridley.
Ridley says he is humbled by his award and feels like he's making a difference in his students' lives.
If you want to nominate a top teacher send us a one page, hand-written letter to:
My Teacher is Tops
1314 Gray Highway
Macon, GA 31211
Be sure to include your name, your teacher's name and your school. Remember, neatness counts.