Matt Chandler has been an educator since 1985. His first teaching job was in Red Wing, Minnesota. This is his 34th year with BSD. Matt started working at Wheeler (IAA) as a sixth grade teacher for his first year and then they moved all the 6th grade classrooms to the middle school. He has been both a well-loved and respected teacher and creative force at Edmunds ever since.
Creativity is critical to the longevity of a teaching career.Matt Chandler
Words from Matt:
What I will miss: I will miss the relationships I have developed with the students, the families of students, and the family that makes EMS work.
What I am proudest of: My proudest moments have been when educational experiences go well or I’m surprised how well the experience resonated with my students. Developing weekly walking trips for my sixth graders has given me more of those special moments in education, so the walking trips are something I am proud of developing.
Advice to pass on: Creativity is critical to the longevity of a teaching career. When a teacher creates a series of lessons, an activity, and experiences for children it generates a feedback loop that will be motivating, inspiring, and rewarding.
Words from Colleagues:
I came to Edmunds in 2002 as the alternative education teacher. I had no idea what I was doing but had encouragement and coaching from Matt. In that first year the only time that I could actually catch up was on Fridays starting at 3. Matt and I would be the only people here. When I described my problem, that I found it impossible to grade while simultaneously creating lessons on the fly, he reassured me that was every teacher’s predicament. And it made me feel at least validated, like I was not the only teacher who was swamped. He will be missed. Robyn Battaile
There is a saying “Once a Questy, Always a Questy.” I’m not sure when that phrase started, but Matt fully lives that code. Matt is a champion of the whole student. He supports them from the time they enter our building until the time they graduate and beyond. Rebecca McCray
If you could capture the wonder of learning of a toddler with the wisdom and knowledge of an elder and combine them with evolving new and inventive ways of approaching a problem, you would have a teacher as skilled at his craft and enthusiastic as Matt Chandler. Matt and I have taught at the same school for thirty years, and in that time, I have had the pleasure of watching him engage hundreds of middle schoolers in the love of learning math and science. He will be truly missed at EMS. His running shoes are way too big to fill. Daryl Kuhn
Matt is a paradox. On the one hand, he is unchangeable–same lunch everyday, same parking spot, same aversion to hugs. On the other hand he is constantly changing–always challenging the status quo and integrating new, innovative ideas into his classroom. When we were paired with a colleague to be “allies” during faculty meetings, I felt fortunate to have this time to connect with Matt. Though I might have felt spent by the end of the day, I could always take some inspiring nugget from our conversation. Over the years through many different administrators, Matt would scribble in his little notebook. I was convinced that he was writing an epic poem. I am pretty sure that he once promised to pass his life’s work to me when he retired…so we’ll see… Rich Boyers
The late Mr. Rogers said this about teachers:
“The best teacher in the world is someone who loves what he or she does, and just loves it in front of you.”
Matt, thank you for being our Mr. Rogers. You’ve been the “best teacher” to so many students, parents, and colleagues in the EMS community. Hopamyboatafloata, slideshows, walking field trips, the egg drop, team awards, The Innovative Learning Center, these are all ideas that are widely embraced across the EMS community. They’re also ideas that started with you. Students who’ve shared in these experiences have memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you for your kindness, warmth, collaboration, and most importantly for finding the good in every child. You’ve made a difference in the lives of others. We’re grateful for the legacy that you’ve left. Thank you, Mr. Chandler, for being the “best teacher in the world”. Brent Truchon
Matt Chandler. I have been deeply grateful for your collegiality this year. You are truly a Master Teacher, and I have deep respect for you. You find creative ways to make learning hands on and relevant in ways that bring forward student voice. Your classes are inclusive, and you consistently strive to pull students closer. The impact that you have had is far reaching and impossible to measure. Thank you, so much, for living a career of service to kids. I wish you only the best in your every endeavor. James Kiefer
I have learned so much from Matt about how to connect to students as well as set firm boundaries. I have also learned so many dad jokes, I am set for the next several years. Your creativity in planning lessons totally engages the most reluctant learners and your kids and families love you. You will be so missed! Brady Lozier
In 2013, I was a para in Matt’s classroom. He knew my goal was to become a teacher, and so he began to encourage and mentor me. I was struck by the way that he engaged all the students in his class and held them to high standards. He was always there for them, no matter how many times he answered the same question, or students didn’t complete their work. He made sure that all of his students knew that he cared about them.
As I became a teacher Matt was always someone who I could go to for help and advice. He even hugged me when I found I may lose my job after budget cuts! He is kind, funny, thoughtful and sincere. I will miss his presence to push me to be my best, and his guidance when I am not sure of what to do. Ashley Howard
American politician Brad Henry said, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” This quote makes me wonder if Brad ever met Matt Chandler. Matt has inspired hope, ignited imaginations, and instilled a love of learning in his many middle school students, interns, and colleagues. I’d venture to say Matt has taught anyone who has been fortunate enough to cross his path. He is a teacher through and through. It’s who he is, and the good news is he won’t stop teaching just because he retires.
There’s much to appreciate in addition to Matt’s exceptional teaching qualities. A few that stand out are the perfectly executed jokes at faculty meetings, the impromptu check-ins (how did he know just the right time to pop in?), the X-C Invitationals (a highlight of the year!), the sincere interest in our professional and personal lives, and of course the many insights he shared.
Congratulations to Matt. I’m grateful for his colleagueship and friendship, and I wish him the very best. Sincerely, Kathy Gallagher
I have not known Edmunds Middle School without Matt Chandler. For thirty years I have admired his calm, thoughtful demeanor and sensible approach to every challenge that has faced us. He is often (usually, most of the time) the most logical voice in any room, EMS will be a very different place without Matt. Jane Lavigne