Giving Thanks for Teachers

Giving Thanks


There's nothing that kindergarteners can't do when seen through the eyes of teacher Sue Mikolajczyk that includes reading at a first grade level just three months into kindergarten.

MIKOLAJCZYK: I just think five and six year olds are the most fascinating, they take violin. We don't give them the credit, they're sponges.

Mikolajczyk also known as Mrs. Mik is Hillsborough County's Teacher of the Year. She believes her passion for little people won her that honor. But, it also could have to do with her infinite imagination and trust in her students' abilities.

MIKOLAJCZYK: I started the violin program here and when we first did the violin program and the violin teacher wanted me to take a violin lesson my hands were so sweaty I couldn't keep my hands on the violin but little guys, if you turn it into a play, and its fun, I dress up as book characters we do things like that everything is just fun but they are learning like crazy. They can write four or five sentences. Some of them can write a paragraph already because they're not threatened by the process.

Her kindergarten students wrote and illustrated a book about the first Thanksgiving to give to the governor.

They then dressed up as Indians and were given special names for their Thanksgiving Pow Wow.

SMART FOX: She called me Smart Fox because I'm very smart too.

REPORTER: And Lovely Little Lady Bug?

LOVELY LADY BUG: Because I'm cute.

REPORTER: Shining Star?

SHINING STAR: Because she told me every time I wear sparkling clothes, she calls me that.

The youngsters also memorized lines and songs for a special program they performed for the governor.

POW WOW PLAY: We want you all to know that five and six year olds are very smart. Laughter. We have biggest brains and biggest hearts.

GOV. BUSH: You know, Thanksgiving is this Thursday, right? We're here to celebrate Thanksgiving. And as far as I'm concerned, it's the best holiday of all because we get tp pause and give thanks for the blessings that God has given us and the blessings of being together with family, the blessings of having the best teacher of all. Did you know you have the best teacher in the whole wide world? Applause lots of football eating best stop and think about wonderful

While Governor Bush is thankful for teachers like Mrs. Mik, Hillsborough's Teacher of the Year is thankful for what she calls her extended family.

MIKOLAJCZYK: Every year I become a mother again of 20,18 children. And when they walk into my classroom, they walk into my heart. I'm thankful to them. I'm thankful to my beautiful family to be able to celebrate a 60th wedding anniversary with my parents who are still alive, for good administrators who really push us to do our best for the kids and of course for you, new friends, old friends I'm very thankful. Applause.


You'll be in My Heart is the theme song for Mrs. Mik's kindergarten class at West Chase Elementary.

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