English literature is often the focus in many classrooms. That's not the case in Rita Strydum's class where students learn the importance of literature from all parts of the world.
"Tikki tikki tembo no som rembo chair bari pip peri pembo," says Strydum, a first grade teacher at Wheatley Elementary.
The first graders in Rita Strydum's class agree on one thing in particular. "She's got a good voice," says Keeshun Cobbs, a first grader at Wheatley Elementary.
"All the time when she reads the book she talks like the characters," says Mikayla Holmes, a first grader at Wheatley Elementary.
Through creative storytelling Strydum brings literature to life for her students. "My job is to introduce them to some different literature that comes from different parts of the world," says Strydum.
Throughout the year Strydum takes her class on a trip around the world. The first stop was right China, where students learned more about the Chinese culture by reading various folk tales. The next stop well that's something she lets her class decide.
"For our kids their growing up in an age where media already takes them all over the world. Literature that talks about children all over the world just makes it more personable," says Strydum.
One country in the lesson plans is familiar territory to Strydum. "We're actually from a really small country called Swozano, but its bordered by South Africa and yes I will definitely try to incorporate a unit from Swozano for them," says Strydum.
Strydum's belief in giving her students an understanding of all types of literature and sharing it in an interactive environment is what makes her a Teacher You Can Count On. "You know what I love when I read? I love to see their faces when I read I love that, I love that," says Strydum.
Outside of the classroom, Strydum enjoys watching her son swim and play soccer.
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