By Kim Johnson

MINNETONKA, Minn. (WCCO) — Karl Boberg, a teacher at Deephaven Elementary, says it’s a dream come true to teach at the same school he attended as a kid.

But thanks to his innovation, his 5th grade classroom today is very different from the one he knew. It’s what makes him an Excellent Educator.

Forget the single file desks, in Boberg’s classroom, students decide where they’ll learn.

They can choose from sitting on the carpet, standing at their desks, sitting in a former restaurant booth, or even under an umbrella at a picnic table.

“I think kids need options,” he said. “It stems from having a class with multiple learning methods.”

Student Leah Shedd said she loves all the choices.

“He lets us do our own thing just as long as we learn,” she said.

Boberg will do what it takes to engage young people inside and outside his class.

He’s the coach of the Minnetonka Girls High School Basketball team, and his 5th-graders go out to cheer him on.

And he also coaches students in leadership, coordinating food and toy drives.

“They’re given so much. They come with great talents to Deephaven, and for them to understand they need to use these talents for the greater good,” he said.

He says when his students graduate from his class at the end of the year, he hopes they leave knowing one thing.

“That I love them forever,” he said. “That I don’t have them just this year; that they are my students forever.”

Boberg also volunteers for bus duty, helping kids get on the bus after school.

He says it gives him a chance to see kids before they get into the 5th grade, so then when they come to his class he knows who they are and has already formed a connection with them.


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