Kansas State University


College of Education

In the Classroom: COE Lends a Hand

6th period

Caitlyn Olsen (bottom photo, top left)

Seventh-grade language arts teacher, Bates Middle School, Sumter, S.C.

Caitlyn emailed recently to update us on her teaching career. Besides basic challenges new teachers face, she also was dealing with the results of a hurricane that closed her school for a week and destroyed many of her students’ school supplies. While she says it hasn’t been easy, she is enjoying it–even the difficult parts.
“I love my job. I love my school. Every day I look forward to going to work. Even if I don’t feel well or have personal problems, it doesn’t  matter. Teaching my kids, being with them, seeing light bulbs light up, or even their goofy comments; they brighten every minute of my day…It’s amazing that, because of the struggles, it has reaffirmed my belief that teaching is the career for me.”
She stressed the importance of parent communication.
“Yes, there is the recording of behavioral issues. Don’t get me wrong, that’s great, but we also need the reminder that parents need to hear when their students are doing well. Or when they did something good. Not long ago I called a couple of parents to compliment their student for sharing highlighters with other students. Furthermore, it is policy to contact low-scoring students at my school. Even if it isn’t a policy, it  should be done. At any level of education, our job is to assist them in their success. An open communication between parent and teacher can be so helpful in order to accomplish this.”
Hearing of her students’ struggles with the flooding, our COE family decided to send a few supplies (with some purple items, of course!) Five large boxes have now arrived in S.C.! Special thanks to students, faculty, and Dean Debbie Mercer for helping make this happen!