Kelli Albrecht has been teaching at Prairie Trail Elementary since it opened in 2012, but the second-grade teacher has been teaching in Ankeny for a total of 14 years. Though she’s taught both first and second grade, she says she especially loves seeing how her students mature during the second grade year.
“After the first few months of school, they develop this sense of independence and start to understand their role in the learning process,” she says. “They just blossom and start to do things all on their own.”
For Albrecht, teaching means changing her approach constantly to meet her students’ needs. People ask her all the time how she can teach the same grade over and over, but she says her students are always unique and different, and even from day to day, there are new challenges and opportunities.
Since she was a young girl, Albrecht says she’s always loved school. If she wasn’t at school, she was at home playing school. She tries to translate that enthusiasm for learning into her teaching every day.
“If they have questions about space, I let them do inquiry on space,” she says. “I want to get to know them as individuals and see what motivates them and pushes them forward. I share with them what I like, and then we can make those connections together.”
But she’s not only teaching them academics. Her philosophy is that students learn so much more in the classroom, like cooperation, collaboration, listening, sharing, empathy – skills that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.
Right now, she says she’s excited to celebrate the upcoming winter break with family and friends and arrive back at school in January recharged and ready to see what her little learners will show her next.
“Kids are so unique and each of them are special, so it’s always fresh and exciting each day,” she says.
What is your favorite thing about Mrs. Albrecht?
She’s super nice and helps me out when I don’t get something.
Presley Drew, 7
She’s nice and she doesn’t yell, and she teaches us math skills.
Kyler Crimmins, 7
She teaches us. My favorite thing to do with her is our reading conferences.
Tyson Rauser, 8