The Rotary Club of Beloit has named Benji Klett its Teacher of the Month for January.

After graduating from Edgewood College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 2015, Klett became an educator for the School District of Beloit at Converse Elementary School where he teaches 1st grade.

Klett is the assistant coach for the West Side Middle School girls swim team, the Beloit Memorial High School boys swim team. and the Beloit TIDE USA swim team. He is the coach and organizer of the 3rd grade after-school sports clubs at Converse as well as after-school Fun With Phonics. He is also a Converse representative for the Beloit Education Association.

Klett’s teaching philosophy is to care, connect, listen and engage. “I was a challenging student who didn’t get good grades,” Klett shared. “Lucky for me, I had a lot of great teachers who cared. They gave me second chances, spent extra time with me and provided the support necessary for me to graduate high school. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a community of support as I did. I chose a career in education to provide that same support to all students.”

Klett strives to develop his students into life-long learners, who will never fear making a mistake. He feels a safe and respectful environment is paramount to success. His method is to encourage student interaction, to make learning so fun they don’t realize the amount of information they just took in.

For many years, Klett worked in Chicago as a salesman for a litigation support company but he began to reevaluate his purpose and take a deep look at what the next half of his life would look like. He wanted to make a difference. He became drawn to being an educator so as to create positive change in the lives of students day to day. As a result, he left a job and city he was comfortable with, along with a network of good friends and colleagues, and took a leap of faith. He moved back to Beloit and was accepted into Edgewood College. Four years later he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in education and hasn’t looked back once.