Kristin Phillips is a third grade English Language Arts teacher at Thonotosassa Elementary School.
I 100% love my job. I want to come to work every day. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love these kids here. The reason that I’m still here is 100% for the kids.
Community building within the classroom, community building between teacher and student is huge here. The relationships I’ve built with these kids are amazing.
They’re dealing with loss. They’re dealing with abuse. They deal with not knowing where they’re going to sleep tonight or what their next meal is going to be. If they’re able to trust me, and I have an idea of what is happening, then, they’re going to be successful—because they feel safe, they feel loved and they’re able to leave all of that behind while they’re here, and they are safe.
I love when a student has that lightbulb idea of ‘I got it!’ I think that feeling as a teacher is ‘Wow! They got it, and I taught them something, and I’m the one who helped them get there!’ is great.
You have to love what you do. You have to want to be here. You have to have patience. It’s more than just teaching the standards. Yes, you are teaching the standards, but your heart has to be in it. You have to be there for the babies. You have to love on them. That’s kind of what they need first before they can get to those standards.
I’ve had a lot of support being at an Achievement School, the resources that they’ve given us—not just hands-on tangible things, but people—has just been amazing. The collaboration with all of that, having different people to bounce things off of, the resources as far as technology supports that we’ve had are helping me become a better teacher, because it doesn’t rely only on me. I have a lot of support to get me where I need to be, to get my students where they need to be.
I’m looking forward to them wanting to learn and growing those kids to get them up to the next grade level and then them being excited to come to see me or let me know how they’re still doing and keeping in touch with them—I really love that.
This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.
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