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One Class at a Time: CS Porter Middle School's Ryan Rosenfeld

OCAT Ryan  Rosenfeld
Posted at 10:18 AM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 17:30:55-05

MISSOULA - This week’s One Class at a Time winner is Ryan Rosenfeld — or Mr. Rose as his students call him — and he is cooking up something special at CS Porter Middle School.

You have probably heard the word “hangry” before — meaning when we’re hungry, we’re angry — but a local teacher in Missoula is trying to remove the stigma from that word, in the hopes of supporting students with childhood trauma.

“Not everyone comes to school with a full breakfast and feeling good about themselves, so I provide positive feedback to them, set up their day so that they can be successful," explained Rosenfeld. "Sometimes it’s a small thing like having a sharp pencil, sometimes it’s being able to take a break."

Mr. Rose works with his middle school students to create a one-on-one unique learning program for students who have faced an "emotional disturbance" event.

“One of the things that happens when you’ve experienced trauma or you have an emotional disturbance diagnosis is you feel a disconnect from other people," Rosenfeld shared. "The simple answer is that cooking connects you to other people.”

To support his students, Mr. Rose will use his $250 grant to start building a small kitchen set, with things like utensils and pots and pans. This kitchen addition will provide a space for students to learn basic life skills, but also use cooking as a tool to make connections and overcome challenges.

“Having a conversation isn’t always a good solution for a 6th, 7th, or 8th grader, they have a lot of people talking to them," said Rosenfeld. "So having another option such as cooking to help them overcome and connect - without those relationships learning is pretty hard if you don’t understand your teacher and they don’t understand you."

Mr. Rose is a unique kind of teacher who’s mixing up unique solutions for his students - One Class at a Time.

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