LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Ty Little

Position: Sixth Grade Math Teacher
School: Lakeside Elementary School
School District: Clay County School District
City, State: Orange Park , FL

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Ty Little was nominated by Nicole Danz, the parent of a student.

"When my oldest daughter came home from the first day of sixth grade last year, she said, 'Mr. Little is going to be so hard and so strict. We are going to have homework every night,'" said Danz. "As a parent, I simply reminded her that she will be fine, she will work hard, and 'every night' is an exaggeration that teachers say sometimes. Nope, I was wrong. He gives homework every night!"

"His homework is engrossed with jokes, students' names, other teachers' names, and funny clues about insides jokes that he shares with the kids," said Danz. "Shortly after the first day, my daughter came home laughing and gushing over how funny Mr. Little is and what a great teacher he is. She went on through the year describing how Mr. Little 'goofs' with the other teachers with pranks and includes the students in the laughter. He plays games (creating them himself) along with his tests, quizzes, and homework."

"I am also a teacher and see firsthand how sixth graders can be at my own school," said Danz. "The way Mr. Little engages these pre-teens is just outstanding! It isn't just my daughter; all her friends speak about his quirky ways and jokes and how much they have learned, as well. My daughter is smart, but she wanted to get a five on her standardized math test last year, as she had only received fours the years prior. Because of the time Mr. Little spent with the review, the games, and the teaching that year, she received a five by the end. Of course, she put in the work, but so did he. He deserves merit and recognition, not because of her five, but because he genuinely cares about his students and their love of coming to school, even in sixth grade."

"My second daughter is in his class this year, telling similar stories and laughing about his jokes," said Danz. "She'll ask my older daughter if she remembers the games (Five Boxes, I Hear Voices, and Red Zone, to name a few) from last year so they can compare who won and how the games were played. The funniest part I can recall about him is that his name is Mr. Little, but he is actually really tall!"