MINDEN, LA (KSLA) - Most teenagers can't wait to get behind the wheel of a car. The freedom of going where you want to go makes the trip much more exciting, and this school year, Becky Bays has found it's the same in the classroom.
"This is a student driven classroom, so I'm going to back off now and let you drive," she said as she handed a group discussion over to the students.
"I've seen a dramatic difference in the way her classroom is run," said Minden High School Principal, Robin Tucker.
"Here's the lesson, and here's what I'm teaching you. Now, what parts of it interest you, and how do you want to take that and how do you want to drive your learning," said Bays of her new teaching method.
Bays says she shifted gears because of a new teacher evaluation system in the state called Compass. Compass has been controversial with a lot of educators, but what some teachers have seen as a road block, Bays has seen as an opportunity. She says she learned the can-do attitude from her students.
"I look at adversity of other people and watch they have adapted and thrived. I try to do that," said Bays.
Her kids know a lot about adapting. It isn't just any class she's letting take the wheel. Bays teaches the special education class at Minden High School.
"She has never wavered on her passion for her students," said Tucker.
While many of her students may never get behind the wheel of a car, she's decided to let them steer something else- their education. So far, they've enjoyed the ride.
"Maybe this is something that will teach them even another level. Push them to the next level. They're ready to learn," said Bays.
Bays won the weekly Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence. The award comes with a $500 prize from the sponsor, The Kirby Kelly Law Firm.
To nominate an Ark-La-Tex educator to win the award, click here to fill out the form.