From Katy Perry lyrics to bowties, Castle Hayne teacher makes third grade memorable


CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — Trevor Todd uses creative techniques to teach his third-grade students about figurative language and other lessons.

A teacher at Castle Hayne Elementary School, Todd recently used lyrics from Katy Perry’s song, Firework, to demonstrate various types of literary devices used for figurative language including metaphor, a simile, personification, hyperbole, idiom, a euphemism and proverb.

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“I found that song, made the sheet that had all the lyrics on the side, and it was jam-packed with figurative language,” Todd said. “I just thought they were really engaged the entire time, more so than if I had just been reading a book to them.”

While explaining how to identify a proverb, Todd draws comparisons to one student whose home flooded during Hurricane Florence seven months ago.

“Thinking about McKenna in that sense because the hurricane displaced her and that was a bad time in her life, or a negative time in her life but after the hurricane,” and he added, “She made new friends and came to a new school and another house so just like that proverb we learned — even in bad times good things can come out of it, right?”

Students on either side lean over giving McKenna a hug.

Principal Sam Highsmith says Todd is an excellent teacher who cares about his students tremendously and ensures they’re learning what they need to be prepared for fourth grade. In addition to teaching, he says teachers wear many hats.

“Our teachers are educators, they have to be counselors and they have to be surrogate parents and they have to be there for the whole child and that’s one of the things that’s wonderful about what we do and what we love and I love about you guys coming out to celebrate the positives because its a tough job,” Highsmith said.

Another thing Todd’s known for at the school are the colorful bow ties he wears.

“I wear a bow tie to school every day,” he said. “My granny makes them for me and I have about 200 bow ties and I wear a different one everyday to school and the kids love them.”

At the end of the school year, his grandmother, Patsy Miller, does something pretty remarkable and its become an annual tradition.

“She will make every boy in my class a bow tie and every girl in my class a hair bow that all match and she’ll make me the matching bow tie,” and he added, “She comes in, puts it on them, its just such a special time to end the year, like a token to take away to remember Mr. Todd.”

Ultimately, Todd said he hopes his students leave his class with one thing.

“I hope I’ve instilled in them a love of learning and a love of reading and that they can continue that in all of their education and all of their life,” he said.

Because of his passion for teaching and inspiring his students to learn, we’re delighted to recognize Trevor Todd as WWAY and Mattress and Furniture Liquidators’ ‘Teacher of the Week.’

If you know an excellent teacher who’s making an impact on students, click here to submit a nomination. Each week’s winner receives a $100 Staples gift card.