STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. -- Inside Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School, every student starts their day with the pledge of allegiance. Inside Mr. Reichard's fifth grade class, that is described by some as magical.

Mr. Reichard has been teaching fifth grade for five years. In that short time, he has earned the title of 'Teacher of the Year.'

It's an award given by the Washington Post each year. The winner is chosen out of thousands of teachers in the Washington area.

If you spend just a few minutes in his classroom, you can tell his students adore him.

"I love teaching, it's my calling in life. My kids mean everything to me, they are my kids minus the relation by blood," said Reichard.

Mr. Reichard greets all 27 of his students with their own secret handshake each morning. The way they learn is also different. He remixes popular songs with math, science and other content.

The bond he has with his students is strong. These kids are proof that the most important lessons are ones that don't come from a textbook.

"Mr. Reichard taught us to have no fear, and basically not to be afraid of anything," said Cole Biggers, a student.