Home > Content > 2nd-Quarter 2015 Scholarship Winner

2nd-Quarter 2015 Scholarship Winner

Name: Chantelle Kley

Role: Special Education Teacher

School: Olson Middle School

Located: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Number years teaching: 9

 

What do you teach and to what grade(s)?

I teach self-contained special education with students in Grades 6-8.

Why do you like what you teach?

As a special education teacher, I have the privilege and honor of helping students move from feeling like they are not good enough, not smart enough, or not capable enough to realizing that they are capable of greatness.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

When I started college, I wanted to work in international development, but while working as a French tutor in the language lab on campus, I developed a true love of teaching. I had always wanted to be a teacher when I was younger, and I used to teach my little brother in the evenings what I had learned in school each day. I would put grades on his coloring book pages and even kept our picture books in my bedroom so my brother would have to check them out and complete reading logs.

Why do you like to teach with hands-on products?

Hands-on products enable me to present new information in an engaging and interesting way, which piques students’ curiosity and gets them excited about learning. Lectures, readings, and other, more traditional ways of teaching aren’t able to awaken a desire to discover and to create the same way hands-on activities do.

How does using hands-on products improve the students’ learning experiences?

Hands-on products allow students to more fully experience their learning. When using tangible resources, students are more engaged in classroom activities because they are able to apply the concepts I teach in a real way. For my students with disabilities, hands-on materials enable them to more easily grasp difficult concepts. With hands-on products like those available from Pitsco, my special education students are able to immediately engage and understand grade- and age-appropriate material and discover solutions to even complex problems, which would otherwise be very challenging for them with traditional teaching methods. Students also remember better and longer when they’ve been able to experience hands-on learning.

How long have you been using Pitsco Education products?

I have been dreaming about using Pitsco products for about a year, but due to a lack of funding, I have not been able to acquire them until now. I am excited that this scholarship will allow me the opportunity to enrich my students’ classroom experience with hands-on learning.

What is your favorite Pitsco Education product and why?

I have been dreaming about using Pitsco products for about a year, but due to a lack of funding, I have not been able to acquire them until now. I am excited that this scholarship will allow me the opportunity to enrich my students’ classroom experience with hands-on learning.

What's your greatest teaching accomplishment?

I had a boy who started with me as a sixth grader. He was unable to read beyond a kindergarten level and could only write his name and a handful of basic words. In June of that year when we were sharing what the best part of our year was, he raised his hand and said, “I used to think reading was too hard and that I was too stupid. Now I can read to my baby sister every night.” I still tear up with pride whenever I remember that moment.

 

Visit www.pitsco.com/scholarship for details about the scholarship or to nominate an educator you know.