By Brand Ave. Studios
To be in Malissa Mobley’s first-grade classroom at Gateway Elementary School in the Carr Square neighborhood is to be immersed in color, music and motion. Ms. Mobley’s classroom is a reflection of her effusive personality and an indication of how she fully engages her students. “I want them to use their talents,” she says. “We do a lot of chanting and music because that’s the best way they can retain information. I use a lot of colors, and I’m hands-on. I want them to feel it when they’re learning.”
It works. Even years later, former students greet her in the hallway with a chant about the commutative property of addition they learned when they were first graders: Either way you switch it, the answer will be the same! Either way you group it, the answer will be the same!
Ms. Mobley is the first recipient of the 2018-2019 St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Teacher of the Month, an honor that she calls “incredible.” “The twelve-plus hour shifts, out-of-pocket resources and preparation at home are absolutely worth it. To be nominated by a parent feels even more special because I was able to reach their child in a memorable way. I feel truly blessed to be recognized.”