CAMBRIDGE, Iowa – Oftentimes, doing the little things can have a big impact. One teacher at Ballard East Elementary has proved that to be true once again.

Third-grade teacher Amber Tvrdik pays attention to the details.

“Getting to know them as tiny humans and not just a student or a name on the list, they’re way more important than that,” Tvrdik said.

It makes a difference, especially for students like Reed Alley.

“He was in my class last year and just blew my mind on a daily basis with the stuff that he would come up with,” Tvrdik said about Reed. “He’s just a unique little kid and I just love him.”

Lindsay Alley remembered what Mrs. Tvrdik did for her son, Reed.

“I told her he wasn’t eating so she would reward him with snacks. If he had a bad self-esteem day, she made him a math professor of the day. If he needed a friend, she sat him by a group friend,” Alley said. “None of these things are in the third-grade curriculum. She learned his learning style, his personality, and the best approach to having him succeed.”

It’s why she nominated Mrs. Tvrdik for the Golden Apple award.

Tvrdik says building relationships with students sets them up for success.

“Amber’s touched so many lives. You could get one hundred stories from kids of what she’s done for them,” Mike Manock, principal at Ballard East Elementary, said. “She’s a very caring teacher.”

She has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

“I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else because I get to come every day and I get to be with the most amazing kids,” Tvrdik said. “And it warms my heart that their parents trust me with their babies. I can’t wait for my own daughter to have that kind of relationship with her teachers.”

Tvrdik has been a teacher for 16 years. This is her sixth year in the Ballard School District.

Watch the full interview below: