Created: 11/06/2013 8:41 PM KSTP.com
By: Laura Lee
(ABC 6 News) -- This weeks Excellent Educator is a middle school teacher from Austin.
Michael Veldman has been teaching for more than two decades and everyday he comes to class with a smile.
"Some kids say you always have a smile, do you ever not? I say it's a choice thats in my lesson plan," says Veldman.
Along with that smile is a sense of humor and a respect for his students.
"I appreciate my families sending me great kids," he says, "keeping it fresh, and definitely respecting the kids and their opinion and allowing them to engage by being a facilitator."
Mr. Veldman learned he wanted to teach in college. "When I was in college, my church asked me if I wanted to give back, and after my first year of Sunday School I knew what I wanted to do."
He changed his major from business to education. Now 23 years later, he's a social studies teacher at the new IJ Holten Intermediate School in Austin.
"It's a great place to be, the opportunities for them, its an exciting place."