Name: Cheyenne Deyo
School district: Geary County Schools USD 475
City/State: Junction City, KS
Class/content area taught: First grade
What are you most excited about with your new career? I am most excited to build relationships with my students and watch them grow in countless ways. I am thrilled to have my very own class as we learn and explore together, and I cannot wait to see them in the halls in the years to come to see how they have grown.
Sheridan just won the National Blue Ribbon award (Sheridan National Blue Ribbon Schools) for the second time! I am so thrilled to work in a school that has such high expectations for staff and students, and I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by model teachers who work so diligently to provide for their students. (Editor’s note: Eisenhower Elementary School, also in Geary County Schools USD 475, received the honor as well (Eisenhower National Blue Ribbon Schools).
What you enjoy most about teaching: I enjoy watching my students achieve their goals and celebrating with them when they do!
In what ways has your school/district supported you? My school and district have helped in more ways than I could list. The professional development that Geary County provides keeps me inspired and eager to grow as a teacher. My principal and mentor are always there to answer any questions I have, as well as the colleagues I work with every day. Every person I have met in Geary County has encouraged, supported, and welcomed me as I begin my teaching career.
What are some specific things you believe KSU especially helped prepare you for your new career? Each professor I had in the College of Education impacted me somehow. Their stories inspired me and made me more eager to begin my career, and their kind words reminded me of the importance of our jobs as teachers. My University Supervisors and Clinical Instructors did the same. I was able to build relationships with so many knowledgeable, kind professionals before graduating. Their tips and guidance made all the difference in preparing me for a classroom of my own. I am lucky to have learned from them.
Background: I am a teacher today because of all the phenomenal teachers I had growing up. Teachers make a difference every day, and after loving every teacher I had, I knew that this is what I wanted to do.
Suggestions/encouragement for new teachers: You can do it! Teaching is a lot of work, even more than I anticipated, but I never doubt that it is worth it. Remember that we truly are making a difference each day we walk into school. Stay positive and take the time to have fun with your students. They will remember your kind words and genuine smiles!
Name: Jenny Karr
School district: Manhattan-Ogden USD 383
City/State: Manhattan, KS
Class/content area taught: Ninth-grade biology
What are you most excited about with your new career? I’m really excited to build relationships with students and help them find success in the classroom. There’s still a lot for me to learn but my goal is to support students in any way I can.
What you enjoy most about teaching?: I love being around a diverse group of people because everyone brings a unique perspective that enhances the content being taught. Seeing the students’ skills grow throughout the year further solidifies my reasons for becoming a teacher. I can’t wait to build strong relationships with my students!
In what ways has your school/district supported you? The district has provided me with a veteran teacher as a mentor and had a 3-day new educator orientation. I will also be attending monthly first-year teacher meetings. I’m happy with the support I’ve received so far and I know the administration will be there for me.
What are some specific things you believe KSU especially helped prepare you for your new career? The two classes that helped me prepare for my students the most were Exceptional Students in the Secondary Classroom and Teaching in a Multicultural Society. I grew up in a town where everyone basically had the same perspective and experiences but now I’m teaching in a school that’s the complete opposite. I credit a lot to those to classes for helping me understand the diversity of my students and how to appreciate it all. I wouldn’t want to teach anywhere else because I learn so much from my students.
Background: Both of my parents teach science at the collegiate level so I’ve always been around teaching and science in general. Also, the games my sister and I played together as kids had a role in my career choice. We grew up on a farm and each spring we would have 1-2 new litters of kittens in the barn. We would then play “school” with the kittens by teaching them how to climb trees or go up and down stairs. We even made report cards for each kitten! While I didn’t know it at the time, that was a pretty good indicator of what my future would look like. Teaching simply comes naturally.
Suggestions/encouragement for new teachers: If you can, get a jumpstart on setting up your classroom early in the summer. I was able to get my keys in May and spent the summer cleaning and organizing my room. Then when August rolled around, while I was still super stressed, I was able to focus more of my time on preparing lessons for the upcoming weeks.