Jan 13, 2022 12:16 PM

Teacher of Month: Connection with families is key

Posted Jan 13, 2022 12:16 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Graber Elementary fourth grade teacher Angie Williams has taught for 23 years, and she sees her students as making big-time adjustments in the year she has them.

"From third to fourth grade, it is a huge jump in responsibility and just independence," Williams said. "We work really hard throughout the year on just being able to do things on their own and just making sure that they are getting their work completed on time. I think that's a big adjustment from primary to intermediate grades."

Getting to know the kids as individuals and their families is one of the rewarding parts of the job for Williams.

"When we were hybrid, we split up and I had like nine kids in one class and maybe ten kids in the other day," Williams said. "When we did that, that smaller group gave us such a chance to be able to get to know our kids so much better. That's something that, this year, I've got, right now I've got 24 kids. That's so much harder. That's that piece that I enjoy, the connection with those families."

Williams said parents working on their end to get connected is key.

"It's about being involved," Williams said. "Whether it's going to a family night at the school or making sure that they are there for the first part of the year and just making those connections with the teacher. It's as simple as, at the end of the day, talking to their kids about, what did you do? What are you learning about?"

This is Williams' fifth year teaching fourth grade.