Rob Bell honored as outstanding reading teacher |

Rob Bell honored as outstanding reading teacher

Special to the Daily Rob Bell, accepting the Past Presidents' Memorial Award for outstanding reading teacher.

Rob Bell says he’s just trying to do his part, but his efforts received statewide recognition recently for going above and beyond the call of duty for a first-grade teacher.

The Colorado Council International Reading Association honored Bell at its conference last month with the Past Presidents’ Memorial Award for outstanding reading teacher. It’s given to a teacher of five years or less who has achieved a “significant and successful reading program during the first years of teaching,” the nomination form states.

“It’s a big honor just to be nominated by my colleagues,” the Dillon Valley Elementary English teacher said. “It means a lot.”

Bell earned honorary recognition as the runner-up last year.

He comes early and stays late to help his students perfect their reading ability. He also volunteers for Reading Recovery, which is a daily, one-on-one, half-hour intervention for reading and writing. And he’s been noticed for his efforts with English language learners, going out of his way to help them learn reading concepts.

“He spends a lot of time at school and works really hard … I’m impressed with him as a (new) teacher,” fellow first-grade teacher Hollyanna Bates said. She was one of the teachers who nominated Bell.

She added that she’s known about the award for awhile, but hasn’t worked with someone who really understood how to teach reading.

In his acceptance speech, Bell spoke of keeping the teaching excitement going throughout his career and being there for students, whatever it takes, Bates said.

Bell uses his professional development tools to get ideas and try them out immediately, she said, and it helps that he has a “great relationship with the kids.”

He’ll play basketball, go to lunch and recess and spend time reading with the students.

“He’s like a magnet,” Bates said. “They want to perform for him.”

But Bell’s not ready to take all the credit.

He attributes much of his success as a novice to the wealth of knowledge around him in the building. He learns tidbits everywhere on how to reach out to students and increase his own know-how.

“They’re the ones who helped me reach out to these students,” he said. “It’s not just me. It takes a village.”

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