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Each year, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School teacher Sarah Rehberg has her second-grade students perform “contraction surgery” to help teach the use of contractions.

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For SARAH REHBERG, there’s nothing better than teaching kids to read, even when they’re not in school. The News-Gazette’s Teacher of the Week tries to do that in myriad interesting and engaging ways with second-graders at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary.

I find my work important because ...

“It is such an honor to have the ability to teach children. It is so fun and exciting to watch them learn and gain confidence in their abilities.

“Each year, I get the opportunity to build relationships with a new group of students. It’s truly a privilege to be a part of their life and their educational journey.”

One of my favorite lessons to teach was ...

“contraction surgery. The students dressed up as doctors and had to take words and ‘repair’ them by turning them into contractions. They loved dressing up as doctors and using Band-Aids to repair words, while also showing how much they really understood about contractions.”

I became a teacher because ...

“I always loved teaching children. I remember working with children growing up and being so excited the first time I worked with a child and watched her have the ‘aha’ moment in which the learning clicked and she understood.

“I love helping children understand new concepts and seeing the pride they have in themselves. When I began to see these “aha” moments with children I was working with, I knew teaching would be a profession I would love.”

One of my most fulfilling moments on the job is ...

“when a student who has previously struggled with reading or did not enjoy it starts to build their confidence and fall in love with books.

“When they start to tell you how happy they are that they can read now, or they find a book they can’t put down, I get so much joy to have been a part of helping them find that passion for reading.”

If I weren’t a teacher, I would be ...

“an announcer for the Chicago Cubs.”