In the Words of a Fellow Parent…
We met Mr. Bertsch during our first visit to my daughter’s new elementary school, late September of 2019. We were greeted by him as we entered the classroom – here was this teacher, in jeans and a t-shirt that read “1st Grade Teacher”. He paused his classroom to allow our daughter a chance to feel welcomed and supported. This was our first experience of “Kindness Ripples”.
Our child – and my family – were so fortunate to experience Mr. Bertsch in person, for about 6 months before schools shut down. What I can say is that the subsequent remote version of Mr. Bertsch in the classroom, is exactly who we continued to experience through an online platform.
This past year, Mr. Bertsch taught both of our children remotely, in two different virtual classrooms. While we follow a homeschool curriculum of our own, each of our children were able to have their own classroom and learn in a completely new and exciting way. It was incredible to step aside and watch them light up at the start of each session. Mr. Bertsch has a gift; he has a light and a true magnetic spirit where these children are eager to learn from him, to engage with him and their fellow classmates. The world needs Kindness Ripples and I wholeheartedly believe the legacy he is leaving with his students will change our future generations.
— Holly M.
What were some things you did not expect your child to learn?
One of the things that we had not picked up on was our child(ren)’s challenges with creativity and opening their minds up to big, crazy, silly, outside of the box ideas. Mr. Bertsch – through various exercises – picked up on this and enrolled us in his observations. He gave us some great games and tools to encourage the girls’ development on this.
Both children did a lot of reading out loud during classes, and they really blossomed in their reading and writing abilities. One of my favorite assignments was the parent biography.
Additionally, I did not expect my children to build such strong friendships with the other children in their classrooms. We have had in-person “field trips” with some of their classmates, and it has been amazing to see them built friendships rooted in the Kindness Ripples.
What is different than regular public school learning?
Mr. Bertsch has the passion, drive, and patience to teach to every student’s level; however, in a classroom filled with 25-30 children, there are so many challenges. Many could argue – myself included – that teaching to standardized testing stifles creativity and the curriculum suffers as a part of that. Without the constraints of the “system”, Mr. Bertsch has the freedom and flexibility to teach, not only to the child who needs extra support, but to the child that is ready for more of a challenge.
Are there any particular qualities that Mr. Bertsch has that you appreciate while your child was learning?
Patience, Excitement, Creativity, Empathy, Joy, Fun, Mr. Einstein
What would you say to parents who are thinking about having Mr. Bertsch work with their child?
I recently heard this wisdom from a seasoned homeschool parent…”take it one year at a time”.
Try something new and see how your child aligns with this style of learning. The incredible thing about Mr. Bertsch’s model, is that is can be used as a homeschool supplement, a public school supplement or as schooling as a whole.
I believe that Mr. Bertsch is a guiding light and an inspiration for all students (and parents!), no matter where they are academically. He brings out the best in his students and they WANT to learn. I have a feeling you will not regret this decision.
Why I started Teaching
I loved learning about the world around me when I was a kid. I grew up watching the PBS show Cosmos with Carl Sagan and was drawn into the magic that made life so interesting. Looking up at the night sky filled me with wonder about our place in the vast universe. I honestly believe that inquisitiveness is born from wonder about how things work. When we encourage kids to be amazed at the answers to questions that arise in their brain we allow their imaginations to develop and the love for learning to flourish.