LAVEEN, Ariz.- When we asked people to nominate teachers who go above and beyond, we get some surprising emails.
This week a colleague nominated Mr. Flowers, a veteran of the classroom, who started his career 22 years ago in Oakland, California.
"It was a bug, when I started helping students, seeing their capability to learn really motivated me. 22 years later I am still doing this." says Mr. Flowers, an eighth-grade math teacher at Rogers Ranch Elementary in Laveen.
A male educator is not common in a career where females dominate, and for Mr. Flowers, that doesn't add any pressure. He embraces the fact that he is acting as more than a math teacher but a role model, father figure, example and overall, an influencer in his students' lives.
"I feel obligated to present something more than just being a tutor, be an inspiration of some sort. As I greet everybody, as I see them during the day, being that -- perhaps that may be the one smile they see during the day or at least in the morning," he tells us, and as we watched him teach, he demonstrated a connection with his class that many work hard to accomplish.
"We know he's happy here and we are happy to have him here," said Tim Thomas, his principal, "We hope to continue to change students' lives together for many years to come."
We dared to ask Mr. Flowers what makes him happy, and without hesitation he quickly responded, "besides my wife, some good music," and that we found in his classroom during this week's filming of Mr. Flowers as our A-plus teacher.