Teacher creates a new world for students

8:16 AM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
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DALLAS, Ga. -- Anyone who enters Jill Oberkofler's classroom at Sammy McClure Middle School in Paulding County soon learns they have walked into another world.

"This is the land of Obertopia, and I am the queen of Obertopia," Oberklofer said. "[When] you actually walked in the door, you came under the rainbow of Obertopia and entered a portal, and were transferred to our land. Sounds crazy, but it's totally true."

If it's crazy, it's certainly effective with her sixth grade students.

"She calls her classroom Obertopia and makes it our own little world of awesomeness! She makes tests, studying and work fun! Obertopia, the land of fun, according to students, with some serious social studies learning taking place," Kaitlin McDermott, one of Oberklofer's students, wrote when nominating her teacher for the 11Alive Class Act Award.

Visiting Obertopia helps students retain some crucial social studies terms.

"It helps a lot when we're learning government terms and I can say, 'We're an Otocracy and I'm the queen and I'm the only one with power,'" Oberklofer said.

She has an Obertopia blog, but it's her Obertopia YouTube channel that students love most.

"She has a lot of videos on government, so we don't have to go home crying to our parents," Kaitlin said.

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