Kelly Stocker

Kelly Stocker expands teaching strategy for all learning abilities

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but after I started working in the preschool classrooms for my classes, I was sure I wanted to be a preschool teacher,” said Kelly.

Kelly didn’t just come to Iowa State University to become a teacher. She came to learn how to teach students of all abilities which she will accomplish with ISU’s special education endorsement and early childhood education four-year plan. Most colleges only offer these two curricula separately, unlike ISU.

“All kids can learn,” said Kelly. “I want to teach all kids in the way they need to be taught.”

Between classes, working in the Child Development Laboratory School, club involvement, and volunteer work, Kelly experiences a variety of ways to expand her teaching strategies and grow her knowledge.

“I feel prepared,” said Kelly. “In the classroom my professors talk about different strategies and provide their own personal experience to teach us. Being a peer mentor then really pushed me to apply what I’ve learned and teach others.”

Through volunteer work she has also gained a broader view of the family structure, opened her eyes to many family resources around the area, and gained numerous connections which she says is extremely helpful.

Kelly has always had an interest in American Sign Language. She began taking classes once she got to ISU knowing it would benefit her teaching.

“A lot more pre-K classrooms are starting to use it,” she said. “It’s a good life skill to learn about the deaf community. It’s also a great way to expand our communication skills and important to look at different cultures.”

Getting so involved has provided Kelly with the necessities of reaching her goal of working in an inclusive classroom of teaching all students from gifted to those with learning/physical disabilities.

Kelly hopes more students will take this well-rounded approach in their teaching careers making sure all children get the best education for their personal needs.

“Take really good notes in class, keep articles, don’t sit back and observe in the classroom,” said Kelly. “Make sure you get hands-on right away. You learn way more when you get involved.”