Teaching offers more rewards than honors

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2015

For Kristie Reaves, a sixth-grade Math, Science and History teacher at Banks Middle School, an education career has always been her calling.

“I remember in elementary school, “ Reaves said, “I was asked what I wanted to be, and my answer was to be a teacher. I really enjoy being around young kids.”

“I appreciate the relationships I developed with the children. I get to watch them getting excited and having fun learning new things…Students make me feel very proud.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Reaves has recently been named one of Pike County’s teachers of the year. She said it was a pleasant surprise for her to have received such honor.

“I felt very humbled … because I have so many great coworkers,” she said.

The recognition, though highly appreciated, was not what Reaves found most valuable in being an educator.

“One of the most rewarding thing (in being a teacher) is knowing what I’m teaching impacts students’ lives and impacts the country for a long time,” she said.

“Recently I had a student contact me, telling me how glad she was having the opportunity to be in my class at the time.”

Reaves said receiving that message years later showed what teaching is about: getting the result in the long term.

Reaves’ classrooms have a variety of activities and projects including hand-on science lab section, fossil excavation and participating in Native American Day. However, Reaves’ teaching goes beyond the class lessons

“Teachers help to motivate the kids, help them to believe in themselves,” she said. “Once a child believes that they can do something, they will try harder to reach any expectations.”

“I taught (the students) to succeed, to work collaboratively and respect each other’s thoughts and ideas…”

Reaves said her current goal is to embrace the new challenges and opportunities in the education profession.

“There are positive changes in the common core and I have seen improvements in the way my students understand the lessons since we adopt the new standards,” she said.

Reaves have been a teacher for 14 years, after having received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Collaborative Education from Troy State University. She then went on to get a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.