SYCAMORE – As a teacher, the best moment for Dave Meyer is doing nothing.
The Sycamore Middle School teacher enjoys listening to his students as they work in teams. He can tell if they are taking what he teaches them and applying it to their work.
“It’s one of those moments when you sit back and think ‘Oh good, you got the kids talking,’ ” Meyer said. “ ‘You got the kids to learn.’ ”
Meyer, who has been teaching for 25 years, credits his success with his students’ success: The Illinois State Board of Education recognized Meyer with the Star in the Classroom award Tuesday.
The state board, along with the Illinois Education Association and Illinois Federation of Teachers, honored 36 educators as the best in their field during the 2012-2013 school year.
Meyer didn’t tell many people he won the award, said Jim Cleven, Sycamore Middle School principal. Cleven complimented Meyer’s ability to relate to his students.
“He has a wealth of knowledge and gets things across to them that are pertinent to their lives,” Cleven said.
Meyer said he felt blessed to be working as a technology teacher at the school, where he supervises more than 300 computers and interactive white boards.
“[Sycamore Middle School] has been good putting technology in the teacher’s hands,” Meyer said. “I feel fortunate to be put in a position to help keep it working.”
As a technology teacher for the school, he tries to make software instruction as student-centered as possible. He seized the opportunity to teach the Stock Market Game about six years ago to his students because it combines elements of several software programs. They finished first and second in the Illinois Capitol Challenge in 2012.
“I give them something practical so they can know how to use [Microsoft Office] and Excel,” Meyer said.
Meyer said he plans on learning about website design, blogging and web publishing. He wants to teach students how to do educational online activities as they are already using social media.
“I’d like to be able to push the kids to sites that pique their interest and hobbies and do it safely,” Meyer said.