Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Gronnert

Ms. Gronnert teaches second grade at Davis Elementary School in Reynolds School District. She currently teaches 23 students and is working with their families to navigate computers and life.

“I have been working with families not only to get them technology needs, but also to get them basic needs like food, and electric bills, and even clothing.”

Ms. Gronnert, thank you for all that you do!

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How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for 23 years.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very young, I wanted to be a doctor.  After the age of 12, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.  

What’s the best thing about being a teacher? 

The best thing about being a teacher is working with the children.  I love helping children learn new things!  I also love being able to teach the children that they are capable of learning, being good people, and doing great things.

What accomplishment fills you with pride so far this year?

That is really hard to answer.  There are many things that fill me with pride about my work.  I think that the best thing is knowing that in the classroom, the children feel like they are all capable of learning and the class I have really worked to do their best to learn.

What inspires you?

I am very inspired by the many immigrant families who attend our school.  They have had very difficult lives, they have moved to the U.S. to give their children better lives, a safe place to live, better opportunities, and a better education.  Here in the U.S., there are many difficulties they deal with daily.  They keep moving forward and succeed in making better lives for their families.  It really shows incredible strength!

Do you have a morning ritual before to get ready for the school day?

 Coffee!

What was a typical school day like after the pandemic hit?

I was on the computer by 8:00 a.m. responding to student work submissions, communicating with parents, and planning with my team.  This usually went on until about 12:00.  Then came filming.  I usually worked on filming at least two lessons a day for the students to watch and do. Then I uploaded and created assignments with the videos.  At about 2:00, I usually was contacting families by telephone.  Families needed help with using the computers and life.  I worked with families not only to get them technology needs, but also to get them basic needs like food, and electric bills, and even clothing.

I was very good about stopping work at 4:00.  Most evenings, I remained on-line checking the children’s work and responding to more questions three or four more times.

If you could take your students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you take them?

Disneyland. 

What would your students be surprised to find out about you?

I sew almost all of the clothes I wear.

What are your “trapped on a desert island” books or movies?

Anne of Green Gables, books and movies!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society

The Wizard of Oz book series, and movies!

The Number One Ladies Detective Agency book series and movies!

What can you cook to perfection? Are you willing to share the recipe?

I love baking.  My children have a lot of food allergies, so I have had to learn to bake a little bit differently for their needs.  One of my favorite recipes is for an egg-free banana cake.  It was my grandmother’s recipe, but I make it egg-free and reduce the sugar because my husband and daughter have diabetes.

Grandma’s Banana Cake

2/3 cup shortening

2 1/4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cup mashed banana

2/3 cup buttermilk or milk substitute (I usually don’t have buttermilk, so I add 2tsp of vinegar to milk for the same result)

2 tbs flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbs water (or 2 eggs)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the dry ingredients into the shortening.  Add bananas and 1/2 of buttermilk.  Mix until dampened.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Add the rest of the buttermilk and the flax or egg.  Beat 2 minutes.  Grease and flour two round cake pans or one rectangular dish.  Bake in oven 350 for about 35 minutes.

Once baked the cake is 0.4 carbs per gram of weight.

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