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 Kiera Rasmussen, a first-grade teacher in Roanoke, Virginia. Mrs. Rasmussen loves teaching this age because they mostly have their foundation for learning, but are still young and excited about new information. She received her elementary education degree from Utah State University.
What made you want to go into teaching?
Ever since I can remember, I have loved working with children and teaching. I wanted a career that would make an impact on future generations and I could see the difference I was making.
If you could recommend one children’s book, what would it be and why?
Giraffes Can’t Dance – I love the lesson that it teaches. It is okay to be different and unique! Everyone has something they are good at and it is not always the same as everyone else.
What is a big challenge you face often in teaching, and how do you overcome it?
I worked in an inner-city school, so it was very challenging to have students from very rough homes and family life, and many students with behavior problems. What I kept in my mind the whole time is that they just need love and stability. My most important job as their teacher was to make sure the students knew they were loved and safe. It was also important to lean on coworkers and receive help.
What do you wish someone would have told you in your first year teaching?
I wish someone would have told me that it is okay when lessons or days don’t go well! It doesn’t mean you are not doing a good job. Most of the time, following the lesson plan exactly does NOT work. It may not work exactly as thought for that group of kids or even just that day. Teaching requires adapting to the students.
Who influenced you most to choose a career education?
My mom! She has been teaching for 25+ years. She taught while I was growing up, so I had the chance to watch her and learn so much from her. I had a lot of experience practicing and learning from her example.
Thanks Kiera for all of your insight! Come back next week to read our Feature Friday post from our old writer here at Honors Grad U, Mary Wade!