HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Debbie Troop has been keeping kids stimulated for 25 years.
The elementary school teacher was recently honored by the Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District for her 25 years of service. Troop, who lives in Yonkers, currently teaches 4th grade at Hillside Elementary School.
Troop said she runs into parents of kids she taught who are now in college, which means a lot to her.
"It's a very significant achievement," Troop said. "I've seen all the changes in education and to the community."
One of the biggest changes has been in technology. When Troop first started, she was putting chalk on chalkboards. Now she uses smartboards and her students use Chromebooks.
"Some of it is great, some of it is not so great," Troop said. "The chalkboard never died on me. It's a different way to instruct."
Kids also being encouraged more to think more outside of the box and be creative, which Troop thinks is a good thing.
Troop initially started out as a kindergarten teacher and moved up the elementary school ranks, going from first grade to second grade to third grade and now fourth. In fourth grade, students learn about the history of New York State, building longhouses when they study the Iroquois people while making paper mache busts of colonial figures when they study the American Revolution.
"It's really fun," Troop said. "We try to make it as interactive as possible."
Being a successful elementary school teacher requires you to often be a vaudeville actor, Troop said.
"You have to get on their level," Troop said. "I speak to them in the language they know. I'm energetic, I'm putting on a show, it's more fun for me and it's more fun for them. Sometimes I'll act silly on purpose- I'll say the wrong answer."
Troop said she has not yet taught a student and then taught their child.
"When that happens, it's time to pack up the tent," Troop said, laughing.
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