"Show me what you got....Show me what you can do!"
It's that kind of attitude and motivation that makes Sandra Polk stand out at La Joya Middle School. For her, it's all about reaching the students, first.
"The first thing I feel I need to do is make that strong connection. I need to build a trust with the kiddo's because, without that, I'm not going to be able to motivate them or educate them. So, I want them to trust me, that I'm here for them. That's why I'm here...For the kids."
Miss Polk is an advocate for kids whom others have given up on. She's changed many lives, simply by believing in her students, with a simple message.
"Never give up....Always keep going."
"She has been here for me and she has always helped me out when I need help."
For Miss Polk, helping kids with problems comes naturally. It's her calling...What she feels, is her duty.
"At a young age, I connected with kids that struggled. And I always wanted to help them and be the one to help them. And then, growing up, I saw a lot of kids who were struggling because of where they came from or because of what had happened in their life and it just wasn't fair."
And her former students remember the impact she's made on them. Just listen to this poem, written by a past student, once considered one of the worst problem kids in the school. It's read by Principal Melanie Stringer.
"She's always there for me...She always fights for me. She puts me on track and she has my back. My soldier, my soldier! She never says it's over, just suck it up and you'll see, that you could be my soldier....How she believes in me!"
What else can you say after that? Congratulations to Sandra Polk, mentor, teacher, friend, and KSEE24 Educator of the Week.
Sandra Polk is also proud of raising two kids, as a single mother. And one of her biggest goals is keeping her students away from gangs.
And if you'd like to nominate someone to be our educator of the week, it's easy! Just go to our website, KSEE24.com. Then, click on community, then submission. Tell us why your choice should be educator of the week!
Every week, the winning teacher and her classroom will receive a $124 gift certificate from GW School Supply. They'll also get their names engraved on a brick on the 'Teacher and Friends of Education Honor Wall', at Fresno State's Kremen School of Education.