Masked Hero: Mark Royer
Superpower: The ability to see the world with childlike wonder.
The ability to see the world with childlike wonder is a superpower that transcends time and allows Mark Royer to connect with students on a unique level. “I’m just a big kid disguised as an adult.” Royer has been with the Ames district since 2001 and as a full-time Extended Learning Program (ELP) elementary teacher since 2013.
“I learned my life isn’t nearly as full without the daily interaction with the wonderfully amazing kids we have here in Ames.” Coming from a “typewriter generation,” Royer acknowledges that he has had to put more effort into the technological side of education with more interactions being virtual, but noted that “no matter how challenging it’s been, it’s all about the kids, and they deserve my very best effort at all times.”
With this year being unlike any other, the elementary ELP teachers have worked hard to creatively assist the classroom teachers in meeting the academic needs of the elementary students. Each week, the ELP teachers have been posting critical thinking, language arts, and math challenges for all students K-5 to engage in once they complete their daily classroom work. These challenges are available to students in both hybrid groups, as well as students learning remotely. Students can pick and choose what they are interested in doing, and the elementary ELP teachers provide feedback to all student submissions. Whether within the classroom or outside of it, Royer said he works as a hero “to treat everyone I encounter with kindness, honesty, and integrity… to live a life of humility and to spread joy through humor and goodwill.”