Cayce, SC (WLTX) - One Midlands classroom boasts outstanding test scores, an above average ratio of advanced placement students and only one gender - boys. Leading the charge at Claude A. Taylor Elementary is one man, Mr. Floyd Dinkins.
Fourth-grader Chase Cooper is all "boy."
"I just like electronics," he explains. His dream is to play professional football because he likes to tackle people. Surrounded by nineteen other boys, Cooper fits well into his classroom.
"In an all boys class we're a lot louder!"
Cooper also likes that his teacher is a "boy" too.
"He is like the only boy teacher that's in the whole school!"
"This is a single gender classroom," explains Dinkins, "we're all boys. It can be loud in here at times, a chaotic kind of noise, but a good noise!"
This is the only single gender classroom at Claude A. Taylor Elementary. Supporters of these classrooms argue boys and girls learn differently.
When it comes to Mr. Dinkins' students, seven out of twenty qualify for advanced placement; a high ratio.
Seeing his students succeed is one of many reasons why he loves his job.
"My favorite part is having those, "ah-ha!" moments. We call it a light bulb, and I'll say, 'oh my gosh I just saw a light bulb go off! In fact, I think it got brighter in here!'"
Teaching wasn't always Dinkins' profession. He used to be a construction worker and coached baseball on the side. While coaching he became interested in working with kids full time and went back to school to earn his masters in early childhood education.
His work goes beyond the classroom, promoting various activities with his students and their parents outside of school hours.
"I just want to experience as much with these boys as possible, so that we have those life experiences that we can use in the classroom. We could say, 'remember when we went fishing and the different adaptations would fall on the fish? Well, this is why they have gills'. So the more experiences we have together, it just seems the better students and the better teacher I become. "
All of these factors are why Mr. Floyd Dinkins is our Golden Apple Award winner of the week.
"I actually enjoy coming to school every morning, just because they're a great class."
If you know a teacher who is deserving, you can visit any Midlands BI-LO store, pick up a Golden Apple Nomination form and tell us why you think your favorite teacher deserves the honor.