Andrea Peters is one of the lucky ones. While some teachers bounce around from grade to grade, she found her niche as a fifth grade teacher at Jordan Creek Elementary School 13 years ago and remains grateful and enthusiastic for the opportunity to this day.
“My first full-time job was teaching fifth grade students here; I love working with kids that age. They still have a love of school and a great sense of humor, and we have a lot of fun together,” she says. “I’m truly lucky to work in such a wonderful school with excellent administrators and teachers and parents who support us to provide a good learning experience for kids.”
One of Peters’ goals is to instill a love of learning in each student, whether she is leading them in exercises in reading or U.S. history.
“We work on building a reading community and developing their skills while introducing students to different types of literature,” says Peters. “We want them to have good reading habits throughout their life, so we do things that foster a love of reading.”
Peters, a self-described “history geek,” also enjoys instilling a passion for U.S. history in her students. Currently, she is teaching them about early explorers. By the end the of the year, she will have taught them about the Civil War.
“We aren’t focusing on a lot of facts but the story of the U.S. as a whole so that they develop a historical empathy. To help do that, we do a lot of simulations so that the kids get a deeper understanding of history,” she says.
Seeing students dig a little deeper is one of the rewards of the job, Peters says.
“We help them expand their skills, and they begin to realize that it is cool to know more,” she says. “We also have a lot of fun along the way.”