My career in education has taken a wonderful path that has provided me with extensive and varied experiences.
I began my career as a 7-12 Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Teacher in Copeland, Kansas. This is a small 1A school district in southwest corner of the state. They had stopped the FACS program several years before I arrived on the scene so I was able to start from scratch with no preconceived ideas about what the curriculum should look like. When I approached the Industrial Arts, English, Math and Biology teachers about doing a cross-curricular project the second week of school, I think they might have fainted and then all decided to humor me and go along with this unfamiliar idea. That first project initiated me (and those veteran teachers) into an entire world of collaboration, team work, real-world learning, and helping students create connections from classroom to classroom.
Because Copeland was such a small school and this was a new course offering, Copeland could only offer me a part time position. I just completed my degree from Kansas State University three weeks before, but I willingly approached the Special Education Cooperative in my area, High Plains, to seek teaching opportunities with them. They agreed, that if I would go back to school and get my master’s degree in Gifted Education, I could teach for them part time.
So, I had not even started my first day of my new teaching position, my first set of student loans were about to begin coming due, and I said to my husband that I want to go back to school. Always being fully supportive of my goals, off I went to FHSU to get my Master’s Degree in Gifted Education to serve K-12 Students while starting my first year of teaching.
I quickly learned that FACS and Gifted education have much in common. I had learned in my FACS preparation about higher level thinking, application of content, creating original work, critical thinking and problem solving when “things” don’t turn out as planned, etc. It’s quite amazing how the preparation of my first degree supported a smooth transition to my second degree with no forethought on my part what so ever.
Kelly's insights on classroom observation, education, leadership, teaching, and mentoring.