Teacher Appreciation Week

Posted: May 9, 2018 11:00:00 AM CDT

Cassie Spivey image

During the first full week of May, we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a time to acknowledge and appreciate the educators who play a critical role in our society. A day to recognize the contributions of educators was created through the determination of Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady, who persuaded Congress to proclaim May 7th as National Teacher Day. For 32 years, one day was dedicated to teachers until the National Parent Teacher Association expanded on Roosevelt’s idea and established an entire week to celebrate their accomplishments.

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, we sat down with Cassie Spivey of Northeast Elementary. Spivey recently finished her master’s degree at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK).

What’s your background, and what program are you pursuing at UNK?

I grew up in Kearney, and went to UNK to earn a degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL). I graduated in December of 2011 and was married in March of 2012. I have taught in Grand Island, Lexington, and now Kearney. I have always taught either 4th or 5th grade, and I love it!

Are you currently working? If so, what do you do and how did you become interested in your field?

I am currently a 5th grade teacher at Northeast Elementary in Kearney. I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was little. I have always loved going to school!

Any teachers in your past that you looked up to or helped you decide to become a teacher yourself?

There are many teachers who I remember being influential in my decision to be a teacher, but one that really sticks out to me is Sam Stecher. He was my 8th grade History teacher, and I remember loving history so much that year.

What made you want to pursue your master’s degree?

I knew that I may not always want to be a classroom teacher. As much as I love my students, it can be hard for an upper grades elementary teacher with all of the standardized testing we have to do. I absolutely love reading and books in general, so I knew that being a school librarian would be the right place for me.

What is your typical semester course load like?

I typically take one class in both the Fall and the Spring and 2-3 classes during the Summer.

How do you balance it all—family, friends, kids, school, and work?

I took the majority of my classes before my husband and I had our daughter, so that was very helpful. I also am more available during the Summer because school is not in session.

What has been your most triumphant moment in teaching?

I love hearing from parents the differences they see in their children throughout the school year. When I hear from them the positive changes they see, that tells me that I am doing a good job!

What do you worry about when it comes to being a good wife, mother, student, and employee?

I worry at times that I am not being the best in every role, but sometimes that’s okay. As long as I am doing the best I can, that’s all I can do.

Has there been any faculty at UNK that has stood out to you while pursuing your degree?

Both Sheryl Crow and Judy Henning have been a great help in my school library degree. They both have a ton of knowledge about being a librarian and can answer any question that I have.

What words of wisdom would you pass along to other teachers hoping to pursue a master’s degree?

Do it in a way that works for you! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be the best in all roles of your life at the same time.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Education in Instructional Technology: School Librarian Concentration.

By: Dylan Munson

Category: General, eCampus

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