Teacher Of The Quarter – Kelly Pruitt

Why did you decide to become a teacher? 

I decided to become a teacher because I enjoyed working with children. I decided to start at a preschool as an aide to see how I did with the kids and realized I really enjoyed it and that I was good with them. Also, my father was a teacher so I had a mentor in this field and I looked up to him as a teacher. As a young student, I had many strong impactful teachers and they also inspired me to give teaching a try.

How has teaching impacted your life?

I have felt a sense of contributing towards the future and the greater good by being a teacher. I am always proud to say I am a teacher when asked what I do.

What is your favorite part of teaching?

My favorite part of being a teacher is twofold: I get to improve a child’s life by helping him/her learn to read while also getting to know the child a bit and share a small piece of his/her life.

Tell us about a memorable time when you were teaching with The Literacy Project. 

A memorable day I had working with The Literacy Project was when I was working on Game 13, R Controlled words. This game has many pretend words in it, which is fun in and of itself. The quirky words lend themselves to a sense of lightness when reading them, because they are just nonsensical and fun to read. One of my students, Levi, and myself actually got into a fit of giggles with them, and soon the whole group couldn’t stop laughing. It was nice because this is the last game in the program, we had been working diligently through the entire program, and it was fun to end our last game on this lighthearted note.

What books do you and your students enjoy reading the most?

I don’t really get to read books to my students, but Dr. Seuss books do fit in well with our short vowel/rhyming words game, so I often read Hop on Pop after playing that game. I enjoy all types of books and literature. My students seem to enjoy picture books appropriate for their age such as Olivia and Pete the Cat.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

A surprising fact about myself is that I had problems with my pronunciation of R’s when I was in 2nd grade, and I had to go to speech therapy. It is mildly ironic that I now work with as a phonics teacher with 2nd grade students, some of whom have pronunciation problems as well. I can really identify with them.

What was your first impression of The Literacy Project? 

My first impression of The Literacy Project was that it was such a unique and cool way to work with kids. Classrooms are not set up where you get to play games with kids very often, if at all, and I thought The Literacy Project had really hit a homerun in finding a great way to help kids learn to read.

What made you decide to work with us?

I decided to work with The Literacy Project because I felt it was going to be a great way to interact with the students and I felt like the program would be very helpful to them. I also was excited to help kids learn to read. Lastly, I thought my boss was really great and I could see myself working for her.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about working with The Literacy Project?

This program is a fun, interactive way to teach phonics to young readers. The games build upon each other and break down phonics into learnable pieces. It is very rewarding to teach these students and see how much growth they make between the pre and post assessments.  

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