Mrs. Walker, the modern Abeka teacher, has taught with Abeka for a decade. She is grateful for Abeka’s faith-based curriculum that teaches on a spiral structure and integrates the word of God into every subject.
Mrs. Walker teaches because of the opportunity she has to impact the lives of her students. “Each student is different, and each student has a voice to be heard,” said Walker.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I moved from Southern California to a small rural town in Washington state right after I married. I met a few teachers at a private school in the town I moved to and instantly fell in love with the community. I was young and didn’t have much experience, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of that community of teachers and families.
How long have you taught with Abeka materials and in total?
This is my 10th year teaching and all ten of those years have been with Abeka.
What subjects or grades have you taught?
I am lucky to have taught the same grade level all 10 years. I teach a combined class of third-and-fourth grade students. I don’t know what I’d do if I only had one grade level to teach. I have gotten used to my third-graders learning and listening to so much of my fourth-graders, that the next year I get them, it makes them such leaders in the classroom.
How is Abeka meaningful to you?
I am grateful for Abeka’s faith-based curriculum that integrates the word of God into every subject. The spiral structure of the curriculum benefits me as a teacher, knowing that even if a student doesn’t master the concept when first introduced, it will show up throughout the rest of the year and be taught again the next year. I have also become quite the American history buff, and it’s all because I get to teach it. I love that our school and Abeka have a focus on American history study in the third and fourth grade.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome as an educator?
The biggest challenge as an educator is learning how to prioritize time, especially work and home life. Abeka is very worksheet driven, and when I first started teaching, it was very time consuming, feeling like every paper needed to be thoroughly graded and entered. I’d spend too many hours outside of class prepping and grading. But I’ve gotten better, now knowing the material and what can be graded together in class, how to utilize my breaks in school, and carving out prep time. I can’t say I’m a pro at it, but being so familiar with the material after years of teaching it makes it easy for me to know what to expect.
What are some of your greatest achievements?
Achievements? Ha-ha! well still being in the classroom teaching after all these years is an achievement to me. Overcoming parent conflicts, coworker disagreements, and raising my kids and having a career at the same time have certainly happened only by the grace of God.
What do you love most about being an educator?
I love the kids. Like I said earlier, I have almost thrown in the towel with some difficult parent conflicts and coworker disagreements, but it always comes back to those sweet kids I get to be with seven hours a day in the classroom.
What have your students taught you?
Teaching is more than just finishing our math papers and getting 100s on spelling tests. Each student is different, and each student has a voice to be heard.
If there is one thing you want your students to learn from you, what would it be?
I want them to know how much they are loved — how much Jesus loves them and how much I love them.
Do you have any advice to give fellow educators?
Teaching can be full of “burn-out” moments. Find a way to not let those moments steal your joy or the mission field God has put in front of you. Integrate peer grading on class assignments, get a teaching assistant to help, or invest in a cute stamp that speeds up the process of checking off those assignments.We get the opportunity to tell those kids about Jesus AND teach them long division.