Teacher of the Week: Austin Vahle, Brenda Cowan Elementary

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Not to be dramatic, but Austin Vahle really likes his job.

“More than anything, I want them to gain appreciation for the arts,” said Vahle about his job as an elementary school drama teacher.

Brenda Cowan Elementary is in its second year. Vahle was hired as the school drama teacher when it opened.

“I had multiple job offers two years ago, stepping out of college, some in the general education classroom teaching first, second, third grade. And then this one popped up on the last day when I had to respond to every other person. And I knew that it just had to be it. So here I am,” said Vahle

Vahle teaches K-5. At that age, it’s not always easy, but it’s always fun.

“Yeah, sometimes it’s a little crazy. And sometimes we literally are playing creative drama and herding cats in the classroom,” said Vahle.

Even with virtual school right now, Vahle is making sure his kids are getting the same experience they would in class, and then some.

“I said, I want to do something where the children get to devise the piece. Through those zoom rehearsals, we then scheduled individual sessions where students came in and we professionally recorded and audio-engineered everything. And then from there it was live streamed.” said Vahle.

At the end of the day, Vahle knows not every kid will fall in love with performing, but he hopes they take away so much more from his class.

“It’s not about building the next Broadway star, but building tolerance and figuring out that the world is way bigger than what we may think, but then also small at the same time. And so figuring out how we can make those connections and learn about different cultures that are different from our own,” said Vahle.

If you know a teacher like Mr. Vahle going above and beyond, nominate them to be our ABC 36, Parent-Teacher Store Teacher of the Week.

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