Students get visit from bicycling teacher before school starts

Spring Brook Elementary School teacher Heidi Provost goes the extra mile for her students — even before the first day of school.

“I bike to each of my students’ homes prior to the school year beginning so that we get a chance to meet and take some of the anxiety and first-day jitters away on both sides,” said Provost, 50. “I don’t know how it really started, but I just wanted to get to know the kids and help them get that nervousness out before they get to school.”

Armed with a class list and a smile, the fifth-grade teacher takes to the streets, biking house to house welcoming her new students.

“I ride my bike over to Spring Brook and then spend about three to four hours riding the neighborhood,” said the teacher. “I get the addresses ahead of time and plug them into the GPS on my phone. It helps them see who I really am before school starts.”

Provost said most students are surprised to see their teacher on a bike — and at their front door. That was the case for 10-year-old Erin Foye, who was the first stop on Provost’s ride Aug. 18.

“It’s sort of different,” said the fifth-grader. “I’m excited to be in her class. (My brother) Bill (who was in her class last year) has talked about her a lot.”

Surprising students at their homes before classes begin is nothing new for Provost, who started the tradition 16 years ago while a teacher at Builta Elementary.

“Mrs. Provost’s willingness to ride her bike to each student’s home is an example of her dedication and care of each and every student in her class,” said Spring Brook Principal David Worst. “The parents appreciate this personal touch, and I have heard numerous positive comments about her visits on her bicycle.”

Naperville mom Cara Magno shared the sentiment.

“The first time Mrs. Provost arrived at our house, we were all in disbelief,” said the mom, whose children Antonio, 15, and Mariana, 12, have been in Provost’s class before. “We had never heard of a teacher coming to introduce herself, let alone via bike. As a parent, it was truly amazing and inspiring to see how much Mrs. Provost dedicates to her students and their families.”

Magno said the “welcome” event has left a lasting impression on their family.

“Mrs. Provost has become a true inspiration, role model and friend to all of us,” she said. “She provides an environment where students are challenged, respected and called to succeed at their true individual potential. She is constantly making connections to the daily lives of her students, thus, captivating the students’ attention and making learning fun.

“Her dedication, passion and commitment are what make her a successful teacher.”

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1 Comment

  • Pauline Provost

    I worked at The Naperville Sun for over 10 years in the 70's. Heidi Provost is my daughter-in-law

    2014-08-30 11:10:34 | Reply



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