Thomas Bussey – 5th Grade

Thomas Bussey is a fifth grade reading and English Language Arts teacher based out of Atlanta, Georgia. He’s proudly been in the classroom for 13 years, and his high-energy teaching style can best be described as a cross between an enchanting Hogwarts professor and a pulse-pounding Marvel super hero. In recent years, Mr. Bussey become something of an internet sensation thanks to his mindbendingly clever classroom movie-making magic. But here at EMC² Learning, we are consistently impressed with the very practical, and incredibly human approach that Thomas brings to each and every one of his daily lessons — seamlessly blending his love for all sorts of pop culture franchises with high-energy instructional activities that keep his lucky students on the edges of their seats!

Holding Out For A Hero

Before making use of the resources available from the EMC² Learning Platform, I was always looking for ways to make lessons more interesting and interactive. I often found myself either repeating the same activities or not having enough time to create the resources that I wanted to use. The time it took to create new resources and activities was exhausting, but I would often feel disappointed if I didn’t follow through with the ideas that I had.

EMC² Learning made a LOT of customizable resources readily available, and I didn’t have to spend as much time creating templates for games and activities. I also got a lot of new ideas, and the pre-made templates made it easier for me to truly customize my student experience year-to-year. While my classes may play some of the same games or do the same activities from time to time, because most of the work is already done in advance, I’m able to customize them for my individual classes and make them that much more engaging.

A Super Teacher's Origin Stories

The first time that I realized how impactful the the EMC² Learning approach is was when I completed my first Resource Rumble.  Because the template was already done, all I needed to do was plug in my activities and assignments. The different themes gave me ideas for costumes, and I was able to throw in some decorations and some music to really bring the game to life. My students were so engaged, and when my leadership team stopped in, they were amazed at the thought process behind my lesson.  I was asked, “How does your brain even come up with something like this?” The truth was, all I did was add a few extra ingredients, the main course was already prepared.

I started gamifying my classroom during the pandemic when I was teaching virtually and I knew that my students were bored, because I was bored. But I still struggled to come up with new games and activities for my students. Today, I can genuinely say that I’m doing the best teaching of my career and that ideas that I had 13 years ago of the teacher I wanted to be are coming to fruition. My classroom is a place of imagination, challenge, and storytelling. My students LOVE our class game. From Resource Rumbles, to Items, to Boss Battles, I’m able to use the resources and our class game to motivate them to do more than they thought they ever thought they could. I know that teaching is a difficult career, especially these days —  but I am personally having the best time of my 13 year career right now.

EMC² Learning is home to more than 600 fully editable resources for any course or content area. Engagement Engineers and members of the Creative Corps enjoy a full year of access to each of these resources on demand. We hope you’ll consider joining us to unlock a full year of site access. For complete details including our exclusive limited time offer for annual site membership, click here.

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