Model Teachers at NNPS

Model Teachers: 2nd Grade

Meet this model teacher team and learn how college, career and citizen-ready skills come alive in their classrooms!

Kearsten Lee

Grade: 2nd Grade
School: B.C. Charles Elementary
Years Taught: 11

What do you most love about teaching?
The students! Each year I am given an opportunity to meet a new group of children and get to know them as individuals. I love being able to share my love for learning with them. I know I have done my job well when I have students begging to read a new book, asking for more time to write their stories, and cheering when they have a new problem to solve. The students know they are the reason I work hard to do my best each day, and I believe that is why they bring their best to me as well.

What is the best way to describe your classroom on a typical day?
When you enter my classroom, you will see that it is student-centered. Someone once told me, "Never do for a child what they can do for themselves." The students all have jobs to keep our classroom running smoothly. I see myself as more of a facilitator of lessons and a collector of data. You will see me leading discussions and asking questions, but the students are the ones engaged in making discoveries and sharing their thinking. I have flexible seating, so students can choose where they work best to read and write. It is a place of mutual respect, kindness, and excitement for learning new things. It isn't very quiet and sometimes it looks messy, but it sure is a lot of fun!

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I love working in NNPS because I get to be a leader and a learner. There are so many opportunities to learn and grow through professional developments, book studies, lesson studies, and more. I always feel supported by the curriculum team, and I have even had some of them co-teach a lesson with me. I feel that I am always learning to better my craft, and I know help is only an email away!

Jessica Wingle

Grade: 2nd Grade
School: Palmer Elementary
Years Taught: 6

What do you most love about teaching?
What I love most about teaching are the relationships you build with your students. Every year you get a new group of students with so many different personalities with whom you are able to grow and bond. I also love the ever-changing profession. There always so many new things to learn and take away from other teachers!

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I am passionate about supporting fellow teachers because I know how hard it can be to start as a first year teacher without support. When I started with NNPS I was in my third year of teaching, but I still felt lost being in a new state, school district, and grade level. NNPS really helped by giving me a mentor and teacher coach to support me throughout the year.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
When I first joined NNPS in 2015, I was blown away by the number of opportunities for professional growth. I took advantage of the professional developments, community chats, and classroom visits available throughout the year. I feel like they still continue to help in so many ways.

Erica Harris

Grade: 2nd Grade
School: Greenwood Elementary
Years Taught: 3

What do you most love about teaching?
Teaching is not a profession; it is a passion. Being a teacher is rewarding every day. I get to inspire my students to think critically, overcome obstacles, and dream every day. I get to be a life-long learner and am paid in smiles and hugs for overtime. I can think of nothing better. Teaching really is heart work.

Why are you passionate about supporting fellow teachers?
I am passionate about supporting fellow teachers because it is the best profession in the world but not always the easiest. Teachers need to feel supported in order to find their way. My personal success as a teacher is owed to the caring mentors who have inspired and encouraged me over the years.

Why do you love working in NNPS?
I love working for Newport News Public Schools because they are highly responsive and sensitive to the needs of students and teachers. NNPS has provided me with many opportunities to grow and develop myself as a professional while allowing me choice in what I want to pursue. I am always excited to start a new school year and look at all of the ways I can work toward my personal goals. Aside from the numerous supports provided to teachers, the school system strives to provide safe and secure environments where students thrive too! Our students are given opportunities to showcase their talents, pursue their passions, and change the community every year. I am lucky to work at NNPS.