When someone answers the call to be a teacher, they sign up to be so much more.
Just ask Dr. Lynne Smith, who has been an educator at Northern Kentucky University for 32 years. She currently serves as a professor of Literacy Education and as program facilitator for Elementary Education.
The way education is delivered since the COVID-19 outbreak began may have changed, but the importance of teaching hasn’t. Dr. Smith admits that she is learning from newer teachers about how to adjust to this new lifestyle, but the core of teaching children is still something she fully understands.
“Every kid is a puzzle, and you just have to figure out where they are and what they need to keep moving,” she says. “We need to try to get everyone involved to know every kid has a strength and a need so that we keep them moving.”
Dr. Smith started her career in teaching after working at a camp with children. After completing a master’s degree in Reading, she obtained her doctorate degree.
While at NKU, Dr. Smith has also built connections with teachers across the Commonwealth, specifically through the Kentucky Reading Project, a 2-week summer institute where teachers work together to find ways to improve their reading and language arts instruction in their classrooms.
Through the program, teachers receive three hours of graduate credit, free books and materials and a stipend.
“That has been wonderful! Many schools have had a lot of people participate and now have people who participated in it who are superintendents and principals,” Dr. Smith says. “That’s been fun to watch.”
The Kentucky Reading Project program has existed for more than 20 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. This program also helps Dr. Smith pair teachers with her NKU students.
Those student teachers are tackling the teaching world in a new way this year, but Dr. Smith trusts that teaching will continue as it always has, and we’ll still make an impact.
“It’ll definitely be different online, but we’ll make something work,” she says.