Ryan thrives with aid of Mrs Dravitzki

PETRA FINER- SOUTH TARANAKI STAR
Last updated 09:27 01/11/2012
Ryan
PETRA FINER
Sandra Fredrickson and her son Ryan, 8, with his inspiring teacher Clarissa Dravitzki.

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Clarissa Dravitzki is inspiring, it's official.

The Normanby School teacher is one of 30 around New Zealand recently honoured for their hard work and dedication in the New Zealand's Most Inspiring Teacher awards.

She was nominated by 8-year-old Ryan Fredrickson and his mother Sandra. Ryan started in Mrs Dravitzki's class as a non-compliant child with Asperger's syndrome who hated school.

The nomination, written by Ryan and his mother, said:

"He has been at Normanby with Clarissa since the beginning of this year and as far as we are concerned, she has worked miracles."

Mrs Fredrickson said that having a teacher so willing to learn and upskill in the face of a potentially difficult new student has made a huge difference at school and home.

"During the last holidays, she built him a learning hut that he can go into when needed, she made him a hand-writing and story writing book that he has in front of him instead of using the board, and a reward system,"she said.

"As a result of Clarissa, my son is now compliant and staying in the classroom; she has been a huge inspiration to him."

But Mrs Dravitzki said it is all part of doing her job, she tries to make each student's learning experience the best it can be.

"I don't feel I was doing anything over and above," she said.

"It's a real honour to be even nominated for something like that because I'm just doing what I would do for any student."

Over and above or not, her efforts have made a big difference in the life of one small boy and he now loves school.

Principal Linda Jefferies said that Normanby's inspiring teacher was chosen out of almost 5000 nominated.

She said the award was well-deserved.

"Ryan is Asperger's and she put a lot of time into creating an environment that enabled him to be included in the things that were happening."

Her professional learning was often in her own time and has benefited the rest of the staff.

Mrs Dravitzki was the only Taranaki teacher to be acknowledged.

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