Camy Havlicek is a resource teacher who works with eighth graders at Urbandale Middle School. Her job is to help students close the achievement gap wherever it exists. Havlicek provides specialized attention to individual students on a wide range of subjects, the variation something she loves about her work.
“I get to work on so many different subjects. Math, language arts and reading. I go to all those classes and work with different kids,” Havlicek says like she’s the one having fun.
Havlicek’s curtained room in the eighth grade hallway is a popular place to study, according to co-teacher Kandi Britton.
“Any opportunity the kids have to work in Mrs. Havlicek’s room they take it,” Briton says of her co-worker of five years.
Havlicek has a work ethic that makes you appreciate the long hours teachers put in. According to multiple people at school, Havlicek is often the first to arrive and the last to leave the classroom.
The straight-forward educator arrives at Urbandale Middle School at 6 a.m. daily for the necessary head start. Morning duties include recording herself reading so students may follow along without their teacher’s immediate presence.
Urbandale uses multiple teachers in some classrooms, a co-teaching practice that allows for camaraderie between Havlicek and her fellow teachers. Havlicek describes how she and teachers like Britton feed off each other’s strengths after working together so long.
Havlicek’s favorite age group to teach has always been eighth grade, this despite the challenge of educating mini-adults with a side of hyperactivity.
“Eighth graders have a lot of energy, so if you don’t have a lot yourself you’ll be drained by the end of the day,” Havlicek says.
The multiple teaching hats she wears keep her engaged and moving at a fast pace throughout the day. She’s often pulling kids in to her “skills” sessions, much to the envy of students wanting more chances to learn with Havlicek. She’s a perfect fit for the grade level according to her leadership.
“In middle school the kids need somebody who’s both tough and someone who cares. She’s great in both roles,” says Principal Loren DeKruyf.
DeKruyf appreciates the positivity Havlicek brings to Urbandale and mentions that her spirit rubs off on everyone she comes in to contact with.