When Kate Simpson arrives at work each morning at Feelhaver Elementary School in Fort Dodge, she never knows what to expect during the day — and that’s just the way she likes it.
“I really enjoy that each day is different,” Simpson says.
A native of Pocahontas, Simpson enjoys being in the Fort Dodge community and is now in her third year teaching Level I Special Education at Feelhaver.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in special education from the University of Northern Iowa in 2007, Simpson taught fifth grade at Albert City for a few years before locating to Fort Dodge.
“They’ve both been really good schools to work at,” Simpson notes.
She enjoys working with children in the general education population but also is pleased to be putting her special education training to work. Today, the definition of special education is much broader, and at the same time more personalized to give a variety of students just the help they need.
“We used to always pull kids out of the classroom; now we’re trying to do a little more push-in, so that kids are still in their classroom,” Simpson explains. “They’re getting the instruction in their classroom, and they are also getting the extra help that they need. They get to socialize with their friends and work in groups with all the students.”
Working off Individualized Education Plans, Simpson typically spends 30 – 90 minutes a day working with individual students on focused areas of education. Some kids may need just a little extra time for reading, while others need help with math, or perhaps honing their written language skills.
“I have some kids that just need a little support, and I have some kids that we give a lot more intensive instruction,” Simpson explains.
Whatever the need, it is also focused on the best way to draw out the individual abilities and talents of each student.
A new mom with a 6-month-old daughter at home, Simpson also enjoys watching her husband’s older daughter in drill team and son on the football field. Teaching and raising a family makes for a busy day, but this is one young woman who wouldn’t have it any other way.