Central Illinois teacher living up to Teacher of the Year nomination

By WEEK Producer

September 15, 2013 Updated Sep 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM CDT

BRIMFIELD, Ill. -- The new school year is an exciting one for Brimfield Grade School.

One of the school’s teachers, Fran Meyers, is a finalist for the Illinois Teacher of the Year Award.

Meyers sets high standards for her students, and herself.

5th and 6th grade math can be a hard subject, but when the teacher is hard on herself, it's a lot easier.

Fran Meyers is an Illinois Teacher of the year candidate, who counts success by ones.

"If my instruction is not helping them master the skill, then that's my grade too. The students work reflects my work,” said Fran Meyers.

“So if they're not grasping the concept, then I need to pick up my instruction a notch and figure out what learning style the child has, so I can adapt my lessons to fix the needs of all the learners,” said Fran Meyers.

But you have 120 students, that sounds like an impossibility for you to have an individual learning plan for each one. How do you do it?

"I do a lot of one on one. When you work with a kid one on one, that's when you really get to know a child and you can see how they tick, and how, what is going to be the best learning environment for them," said Fran Meyers.

"She understands the student. If kids are having problems, any types of problems, she'll take them aside and talk to them; so she believes in the whole child,” said Principal Jeannie Blane, Brimfield Grade School. “I've seen her just eat lunch with the kids, not working with them, just talking with them."

Coming from a family of teachers, Fran Meyers is quick to add that supportive parents are essential to a student's success. She says her teaching colleagues deserve recognition as well.

Her modesty aside, she is a teacher with a philosophy worth studying.