Welcome to Feature Friday! Where we showcase a new teacher each week in an interview. For past Feature Friday interviews, go here.
Today’s Feature Friday is highlighting Kayla Eddington, a second-grade teacher in Utah. Here is what Kayla has for us today!
What is your favorite thing about teaching 2nd grade?
“I love the age. They are so loveable. They love coming to school to learn and to see you as the teacher. I love that you can still discipline them and they will love you no matter what.”
What made you want to go into teaching?
“I grew up playing school at home. I thought it was the best thing ever. I guess my thoughts never changed because here I am. I love teaching kids and seeing them get things and share their learning with the class.”
How have you integrated the arts into your core curriculum?
“I love to incorporate visual arts into all subject areas. Recently it has been super fun to add to my student’s writing. I love teaching songs that go along with the content we are teaching. I believe it helps kids remember what we learned that day.”
If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why?
“This is such a hard question. There are so many choices. One of my favorite college professors read us Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. I fell in love with books. Clementine, the main character is so funny. I have read it to my students every year and they have all fallen in love with it as well and want to read all the books in the series.”
What are your best tips for avoiding burnout?
“I had to learn a balance in all things. I try to not bring anything home unless it is something pressing. I have also learned to be ahead of the game and planned out a week or two in advance. This has saved me so many times.”
What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching?
“I wish I would have known how hard it is and what teachers really do behind the scenes. They don’t teach you that stuff in college and you don’t come to understand it all until you are right in the middle of it all. I love it just the same, however.”
What are the benefits you’ve seen in collaborating with your team of teachers?
“This saved me my first few years of teaching. There is no way I would have made it without other teachers on my team helping me through the way. I love to bounce ideas off of others as well. We all help each other out in many different ways. Everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. It is so helpful to have others to help out.”
How do you use student voice in your classroom and what outcomes have you seen from it?
“I love to hear my students teach each other. One way I love to do it and so do my students is during math. They love to come up in front of the class and show each other how to solve a problem and talk about why they did what they did. I literally have kids upset when they don’t get a turn. This is when I know they love having their voice heard and to feel included. I also love to have a mini-meeting on Monday mornings and let each student share their thoughts about what we might be talking about that day.”
Thanks for your time and thoughts, Kayla! I’m excited to read her book recommendation. Head back next week to read our Feature Friday post from a California teacher!