SALT LAKE CITY — A Utahn who teaches sixth grade is now a finalist for national teacher of the year honors.
John Arthur, who has spent eight years teaching at Meadowlark Elementary on the west side of Salt Lake City, credits his students for making this nomination possible.
“My students are the ones who have done all the amazing, hard work,” Arthur said. “Teaching is the best job in the world and children are the most phenomenal people.”
Students have nicknamed Arthur, "captain.” He’s been a teacher for eight years and believes the most important lesson he can give his sixth graders is how to make an impact.
“The thing I prioritize in my classroom is teaching my students how to stand up for themselves and other people,” Arthur said. “I’m trying to help them recognize they are all powerful already. There is power inside each of them.”
Most of Arthur’s students come from immigrant or refugee families.
One way the children have their voice heard is through YouTube videos they create that focus on a variety of social justice issues.
“It’s the perfect age to engage kids in the work of advocating for themselves their families and their communities,” Arthur said.
The winner of the award will be announced this spring.