2011 Really Good Teacher: Heidi Kilkenny
2011 Really Good Teacher Heidi Kilkenny sums up teaching by saying, “What I find most surprising about teaching is that every day brings a new surprise! No two days are alike, and no day goes exactly as you planned.”
That does not keep this cheerful Third Grade Teacher from planning fun and exciting activities for her class though. “[Her class] makes teepees and masks when studying American Indians, butter when studying the settlers, mine chocolate chip cookies during a rocks and minerals unit,” says Carol Ann, the teacher who nominated Heidi. “She exerts so much energy to make her classroom fun, and the kids love to come to school.” It is an honor to recognize Heidi for all of her hard work and name her as a 2011 Really Good Teacher.
Like many teachers, Heidi’s desire to teach stemmed from her love of children. “I decided to become a teacher because working with kids, while challenging, is always fun and exciting,” she says. “There is nothing so satisfying as seeing a child become excited about learning something new.”
Her ability to find new activities is one of the reasons why Carol Ann nominated her. “[Heidi] spends hours at home finding interesting writing activities she can use with her children and then use their writing samples on her bulletin boards,” she says. “This year we have a computer lab for the first time, so she brings her class down at least once a week to use the computers.”
When asked to give advice to new teachers, Heidi did not hesitate. “My advice to new teachers is to be flexible! It’s okay if things go in a different direction than you originally planned- in fact, sometimes it’s better!”
Heidi, thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and making a difference in the lives of your students. We are pleased to have you as a 2011 Really Good Teacher.