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Lake Educator Finds a Way for His Students to Succeed
Compliments of Lake County Schools
Gary Pause is a self-described "rebel." But he is also a passionate
educator and a champion for children whose success in the classroom is remarkable.
Nearly all 148 of 150 of Pause's eighth grade language arts students
at Umatilla Middle School
scored well enough on the state's Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)
last year to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress as measured by federal standards
under the No Child Left Behind legislation. Quite a feat to be sure, but one
that doesn't faze 30-year veteran teacher Pause. When asked to what he attributes
his students' success on the FCAT, Pause said, "Because I don't worry about
What he does worry about is connecting with the students so that he can reach
them academically. "You have to establish a rapport with kids," Pause
said. "You have to know what they are about, and make the classroom entertaining
and relevant," he explained. Pause also noted that numbers by themselves,
in regard to percentages of students achieving at or above certain levels, are
meaningless. "We can use the numbers up to a point, but only to find the
students' weaknesses and find a way to help them improve," he remarked.
"The job is still to find a way to help each individual student,"
he added, a method which Pause certainly exemplifies.