Building Front

Alumni Spotlight:
Danielle Beekman '16

November 8, 2017

Woodbury Teacher Uses Inventive Classroom, Flexible Seating to Help Kids Learn

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This week’s Excellent Educator award took us to Red Rock Elementary in Woodbury.

Danielle Beekman teaches 4th grade. From how she puts her 100 percent best effort into everything she does to her unique classroom setting, there are a number of reasons why Beekman is this week’s Excellent Educator.

Beekman’s connection with kids is getting a lot of attention, and she is rather new to teaching, only in her second year.

“Everything I put into it is for the kids and just being here for them,” she said.

Her classroom itself is inventive and offers flexible seating. Kids get the choice of working from their desks, pub style tables or her a library she created.

“Wherever they can learn best, I want to give them an opportunity to be successful. So, if they want to lay on the floor with a clip board, I have kids who sit under my sink because that is where they learn best,” she said.

The options make her kids feel comfortable.

“It’s nice having to be around the room instead of just sitting at your desk,” said Addison Fitzgerald.

And so does her warmth and gentle encouragement. “When we don’t do something correctly she gives us two more chances to do it right she doesn’t tell us we did anything wrong,” said Sam Biegert.

Her commitment to helping kids learn shows in every corner of her class. She just may be getting started but school is where Beekman is meant to be.

“I just love my job each and every day coming in and seeing 29 students seeing their smiles and seeing them just excel working hard were like one big family,” she said.

Beekman also coaches volley ball at Park High School in Cottage Grove and they just wrapped up the season.

She says she talks a lot about sports in her classroom because she has a lot of kids that love sports so being able pull their interest into what it is that they are learning she finds very effective.

 

Past Alumni Spotlights

Alumni are doing great things all around us.  Check out a few that we've featured!

Danielle Beekman '16

Kelly (Sanders) Kaare '13

Garrett Conn '15

Jefferson Lee '96

Parnell Family (Jerry Parnell, '71)

Katie Salden '16