Name: Kimberly Case
Position: Second-grade teacher at Summit Hills Elementary School
Years experience: 10 years in District 93, nearly 40 years teaching in total
What made you want to become a teacher?
Becoming a teacher is what I dreamed of since I was in third grade. There has never been anything else I have wanted to spend my life doing. I believe it is what God has called me to do.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching elementary school?
I love seeing kids become confident readers and learners. It has been my lifelong joy. Elementary students are eager and excited to learn. Every day is a new day with something wonderful to learn. I especially love teaching math and science, though I don’t seem to find near enough time for science instruction.
How do schools in Idaho compare with where you taught in Colorado, Iowa and Missouri?
Idaho is not that different from the other states I have taught in. Class sizes do tend to be larger the further west I have taught. Parent involvement seems to be very similar. Funding for schools seems to be the biggest difference I have noticed. Idaho has lower per-pupil funding than the other states I have taught in, unfortunately.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen during your career?
Over the years, I have seen many initiatives come and go. One of the most positive changes I have experienced is the shift from simply teaching content to ensuring that all students learn at high levels. The formation of Professional Learning Communities within our schools has been a key way this is accomplished. Working together closely with my colleagues to help our students succeed is extremely rewarding.
Do you think the increased focus on statewide testing is good or bad for students?
I would have to say it is having a largely negative effect, in my opinion. A super heightened focus on test scores has left teachers feeling as though that is the all-important thing as lawmakers seek to link pay to student performance. Both teachers and students are test-weary.