Michael Bonner

Second Grade Teacher

Motivating Students Through Unique Methods

Michael Bonner - known better by his second graders as "Mr. Bonner" - is a second grade teacher at South Greenville Elementary School in North Carolina.

South Greenville Elementary is a Title 1 school, meaning there’s a high percentage of students from low-income families. Mr. Bonner is always looking for ways to motivate his students and create a fun learning environment. When he presented his students the opportunity to create their own music video, they loved it - after a few tweaks to his lyrics, of course.

The music video ended up going viral. In fact, it went so viral, Mr. Bonner appeared on The Ellen Show earlier this year. Ellen DeGeneres even surprised him with a $25,000 check from Walmart and a GoFundMe account for improvements at South Greenville Elementary. He was also presented with donated tablets, drones and other gadgets for the school.

Mr. Bonner hopes his unique methods will catch on, with teachers continuing to incorporate methods of motivation into their lesson plans.

Sarasota 2017