Banks teacher works to make classroom a ‘stress-free’ environment

BANKS, Ala. (WSFA) – If the numbers don’t add up, Lori Jacobs is there to jump right in and help her students find a solution. The math and science teacher at Banks School says she’s always up for a challenge.

“I love 5th-grade math because it is a challenge and a lot of students come into math, and they are very nervous and have a lot of anxiety,” she said, “So, I try to create a stress-free environment for them.”

Her classroom has bean bag chairs, gaming chairs, rugs, and music. She said she wanted to get rid of the idea of ​​a traditional math class.

“We play calm music when they’re working independently. I do flex-seating, so students can choose where they sit. And I also like to provide time for them to socialize and explain their answers instead of just telling them what’s right or wrong. I just want to make it less stressful for them,” Jacobs added.

For Jacobs, it’s about reducing anxiety and making learning fun at Banks School. She encourages her students to look at difficult things as new adventures.

“I just want them to feel safe and feel like their voices are heard, and then when they’ve conquered the challenge, their self-confidence is boosted and they end up liking math,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs has been teaching for 22 years in Alabama and Georgia. She said it has truly been rewarding to watch her students grow and learn to love math and science.

“I just want to say to my students, thank you for giving your all every day, day in and day out,” she said.

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