WETZEL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – How would playing games at work all day sound? If you ask the kids at Short Line Elementary School, that’s what they think one of their favorite teachers does.
While it may seem to these Wetzel County students like all they do is have fun in Mrs. Mary Ritz’s classroom, they’re actually learning, and falling in love with math.
Try not to have a good time. This is educational.Mrs. Mary Ritz, Math Interventionist, Short Line School
Mrs. Ritz can’t help but chuckle as she references her favorite quote from none other than the beloved Peanuts comics, which is hanging in her classroom. For this learning environment it’s fitting.
I had one little boy say to me ‘you must have the best job in the world’. I said ‘yes I think I do’ because they think I just play games all day. Of course, it’s a lot of prep work having everything ready and stuff, but it’s great.Mrs. Mary Ritz, Math Interventionist, Short Line School
Mrs. Ritz remembers she was inspired by an elementary school teacher she had who went above and beyond for her class, sending mail to students and even taking some for dinner. Now, Mrs. Ritz does some of the same things for her class.
She sent me mail all the time and we would correspond, so I do a lot of those things with my kids. I send them post cards when I got the beach, Christmas cards, valentines.Mrs. Mary Ritz, Math Interventionist, Short Line School
For the last 15 years, Mrs. Ritz has been heading up a classroom. She started out in Kindergarten through 6th grade general studies, but now Mrs. Ritz is a math interventionist for Kindergarten through 3rd grade students at Short Line School.
I was the best at math at first anyway, but I love coming here anyway.Bryar Hupp, 3rd Grade Student
Clearly, the kids love her class.
Cause she’s nice. She’s pretty. Whenever I come to Mrs. Ritz’s class I love just seeing her here and doing all the games.Rylee Greathouse, 3rd Grade Student
I like that she helps us succeed at math. She’s made math like a big learning game.Bryar Hupp, 3rd Grade Student
These hands-on games even continue after the students go home.
Mrs. Ritz is a Title 1 teacher, so she’s focused on family engagement and finding ways they can all learn together.
They’re only at school so much time and we really want to involve the parents. The parents want to be involved. They want to be engaged with the kids and the don’t always know exactly what to do. It’s a very hard job for us and we’re professionally trained, so we just try to pass that along whenever we can.Mrs. Mary Ritz, Math Interventionist, Short Line School
Every time I don’t know something at my house, one of my siblings can help me on it.Rylee Greathouse, 3rd Grade Student
Mrs. Ritz and fellow teacher Mrs. Eller plan Family Nights for Short Line students, where they can bring a loved one in to play learning games.
She’s also been instrumental in getting grants for different projects, like $10,000 for family engagement and several $1,000 classroom grants.
No matter what the grade level, or what game they’re playing, you can be sure that in Mrs. Ritz’s class these students leave being confident in their Math skills.
The one thing I want them to take away from my classroom is a growth mindset and just to know that their possibilities are endless. There’s nothing they can’t do. There’s nothing they can’t be.Mrs. Mary Ritz, Math Interventionist, Short Line School
Mrs. Ritz gives some of the credit for her success at Short Line to her fellow teachers.
I have a great team here. I alwasy have these big crazy ideas and they should say ‘stop this is too much work’, but they always say ‘what can we do to help’.Mrs. Mary Ritz, Math Interventionist, Short Line School
To continue to honor more teachers like Mrs. Ritz from all across the Ohio Valley, 7News has teamed up with our friends at Belmont Savings Bank. We are collecting donations that will go towards purchasing items from the classroom wish lists of teachers, chosen by the school districts they represent, who you will see featured like this on 7News this month.