4th Grade Crew Teacher
Meet Mr. Tyler!
Growing up, Tyler Stroh did not like school. Like, at all.
“Honestly, I disliked school. It didn't feel authentic, and I struggled with learning the way that it was taught,” Tyler recalls.
But those early struggles are one of the reasons Tyler’s students thrive in his classroom.
Tyler grew up in Arvada, Colorado with his two older sisters and mother. Also, his dad, who works in telecommunications lives in Denver, so they’d visit him fairly often. His mom was a public speaker, teacher, and professor. However, Tyler’s grandparents also lived close by, and he has fond memories of always hanging out at their house.
Even after high school, Tyler’s original plan was to stay away from any more learning institutions. “It wasn't until I took a year off and worked for Kenworth Trucks as a parts delivery driver that I knew I needed to further my education. I moved to Steamboat Springs and attend Colorado Mountain College. I then moved to Kalamazoo Michigan and attend school there. Finally, I moved back to Denver and graduated from Metro State College.”
Tyler also credits his mother with pushing him to pursue a career in education. “She knew that I was good with kids and that I could provide them with a different perspective on learning. I also really enjoy learning, so education made sense. Every day I am challenged to learn something new about myself, students, families, content, or educational practices.”
After graduating from Metro, Tyler’s first teaching job was actually at an online school where he taught for four years. Even though he loved the experience, he knew that his passion was to be in a classroom. So when one of his coworkers mentioned a friend’s daughter went to this amazing school called Renaissance that he should totally work at, Tyler didn’t hesitate to check it out. It was a perfect fit with everything he hoped for and believed teaching could be. And just like that, he found his teaching home and has been here for the past nine years, first teaching 3rd grade for three years, and then shifting to 4th grade where he's taught ever since.
Tyler still says the best thing about Renaissance is the way the school culture embraces all kinds of learners. “We can be ourselves here, which is the foundation for learning. I feel comfortable being open with others, honest about my feelings, and willing to try new things. The culture allows the students the opportunity to be themselves, which I love.”
Tyler has even embraced the opportunity to become an even more supportive teacher. “Currently, I'm getting my graduate degree from the International Institute for Restorative Practices. I've learned to love school because I learned how I learn.”
He also points out how his experience with online school was very different from the remote learning environment:
“Parents who signed up for virtual learning were interested in homeschooling their children with the support of a teacher. They signed up and received the curriculum and a computer at home.
However, the current situation is way different because parents did not sign up for this style of learning, and families do not have a curriculum in hand other than what I provide. We are all trying to take care of ourselves, family, work, and school. It's a crazy balancing act.
The biggest difference is that I know my students extremely well since I spent three-fourths of a year with them in person. We laughed, learned, and worked through anger and sadness together. That is something that you cannot get from a virtual environment, so I am thankful that we have that connection.”
Any family that has been fortunate enough to have Mr. Tyler knows he’s deeply passionate about helping his students learn, and making it fun! One parent said, “We have been lucky enough to be in Mr. Tyler’s crew twice. Our family loves him. He really knows his kids and treats them as individuals, highlighting and celebrating their strengths and helping them with their struggles. He’s the perfect balance of fun and ‘let’s get down to work.’ I feel like words can’t express how highly we think of him. He truly is one of the best.”
His coworkers totally agree. “Working with Tyler is such a joy; he lights up the room. He is creative and always willing to reinvent his plans, and himself, to do what is best for kids. Tyler is a lifelong learner and models what it means to have a growth mindset. He is fun, flexible, brave and above all else, kind!” gushes Ms. Jenny.
Even at home, Tyler’s family adores and supports his love of learning for himself and his students. His wife, Stephanie said, “Tyler is a passionate learner, and one of the things I love most about him is his authentic approach to wanting to pass that passion on to his students. He truly believes in all of them. Because he struggled in school, he knows how to empathize and get to the level of any of his learners who are experiencing challenges. He loves the diversity of his kids at REMS and tries to meet them where they are at as individuals while also valuing and supporting the community as a whole. This school was made for teachers like Tyler - it’s where he belongs and we are thrilled for our kiddo Warren to attend kindergarten next year.”
One thing that most people will not find surprising is how much Tyler values adventure and learning new things. For example, he used to take long-distance bike tours every year! This was B.C. (before children) of course: “Bike touring started for me once I graduated from college. My plan was to buy a motorcycle and ride around the United States. However, I was a broke college student, so that plan fell apart pretty quickly. My aunt, who owned a bike touring company in the '70s, said she would send me her 1976 touring bike. I then decided that I'd ride down the coast! So, I bought a bike touring book to learn about possible routes and learn about what I needed to pack. Then, I bought a ticket to Vancouver, Canada. Reality hit when I arrived at the airport in Canada and all I had was a bike (in pieces) and panniers (bike bags full of stuff). I learned a lot! I didn't even bring a jacket! But, this is where learning takes place... you gotta throw yourself into a situation and learn from the experience. I rode alone from Vancouver, Canada to Eureka, California. Since then, I have ridden the San Juan Skyway twice, Yellowstone, rode across Belgium, and other fun rides! I miss being able to take off on adventures where I'd meet interesting people, visit fascinating places, and have time to clear my head. I would love to go on another bike tour when my boys get bigger! For now, I do short camping trips with buddies where we can go mountain biking.”
Tyler has never shied away from trying new things and picking up many hobbies, too. “I love to ride bikes, play guitar, and I am always trying out new hobbies. For example, I now play the banjo!”
Finally, Tyler hopes his students take all the lessons from this past year to heart and follow the example he lives each day. “Be kind to yourself and others! Ask many questions and find the answers. Try MANY different hobbies (drawing, biking, eating weird food, cooking, running, gardening). Most importantly... laugh a lot. Life is too short to be serious all the time. Play around and have fun!”
Mr. Tyler, our students are so deeply enriched by your love of learning and your passion for celebrating differences. Thank you for embodying the Renaissance spirit! We can't wait to see you (and Warren!) in person next school year.