Kathleen Jackson: No fear of wrong answers
Kathleen Jackson of Banta Elementary School always wanted to teach but took a circuitous route getting there. Having five children of her own, she found she enjoyed helping them through the schooling process. Once they grew a bit older, Kathleen moved towards accomplishing her goal of becoming a teacher.
The saying that education starts in the home rings true with Kathleen Jackson more than most. The desire to be a teacher was a long-term goal of Kathleen’s, set well when her own children were young. After her children grew older, she went back to school to get her degree, fueled by the enjoyment she felt helping her own children learn.
Her joy for learning hasn’t worn off as she continues to take every opportunity to improve. “One thing I never wanted to do was become stagnant – do the same thing, the same way all the time,” said Kathleen. She touts conferences as a great way to meet colleagues and see what’s working for other teachers.
A primary focus in Kathleen’s classroom is getting concepts to come alive. As a second-grade teacher, she routinely works on making her lessons as engaging as possible. She puts a particular emphasis on asking her students how they got their answers, not just what their answers were. “A lot of times that helps other kids too that may be struggling. [My students] may do it differently even differently than I may,” Kathleen said of her approach.
If you walk into Kathleen’s classroom, you’ll notice an air of tranquility. “It’s a no-stress environment,” Kathleen said. “Everybody participates, and they aren’t afraid to give a wrong answer about anything.”
With a focus on the process more than the end result and an open and supporting environment, Kathleen’s students have full permission to explore concepts without fear of failure.