Teacher You Can Count On: Peggy Austin - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/28/06

Teacher You Can Count On: Peggy Austin

Teachers everywhere are dedicated to cultivating their students into the leaders of tomorrow. One local second grade teacher is doing that by taking an oriental approach in her classroom. NewsChannel 11's Suleika Acosta takes us to Frenship ISD for this week's Teacher You Can Count On.

This is where East meets West: inside Peggy Austin's classroom at Northridge Elementary. Students here are grasping an understanding of Japanese and other Asian cultures while learning important lessons. "The whole goal of the program is to give them something to work for," explains Mrs. Austin.

The second grade teacher uses a Karate method to challenge students. They must meet requirements in math, science and other subjects to earn a new belt, the highest is the black. "If they don't have a clean discipline card, they don't get promoted," she says.

Mrs. Austin earned a real Karate black belt back in 1989. Today she is a Karate instructor outside of her classroom but she applies those principles to her students here at school. "It's all about discipline, respect and thinking of others," says Mrs. Austin. Students even correspond with Japanese children. She says this enriches their understanding of Japanese culture and education. "In Japan the kids clean their own school, they serve lunch, they clean the bathrooms. They are so privileged and I just want them to know how privileged they are," she says of her own students.

Every day Mrs. Austin is teaching her students to find wisdom within themselves. "What I really want them to do is to keep on wanting to learn," she adds.

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