Educator Profile: Mad River teacher celebrates each ’little victory’

Kristina Neuhart, Mad River Local Schools teacher
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Kristina Neuhart, Mad River Local Schools teacher

Name: Kristina Neuhart

School District: Mad River Local Schools

Grade you teach: Preschool Intervention

What is your favorite subject? My favorite subject is art because it gives you the freedom to show your own creativity. You can create whatever you want and show others how you see the world. Photography was my favorite class in high school.

What/Who inspired you to become a teacher? I had a lot of amazing teachers growing up, especially in Elementary school. My second grade teacher Mrs. Dobberstein was one of the people who inspired me to want to teach others. She was always so kind and years after I had her she still remembered that I did a biography project on Eleanor Roosevelt. It was so nice to have a teacher like her that truly cared and could still remember details about former students.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? The thing I enjoy most about teaching is celebrating each little victory, whether it is a student who can finally count in order from 1-20, can spell their name, or finally mastered zipping a coat. It’s so rewarding to see them grow in their early learning skills and to know that you were a part of it.

What is a memorable experience you’ve had while teaching? One of my most memorable experiences was from last school year when we went on a field trip to Build-A-Bear. It was such a sweet moment to see how excited my students were to make a bear and get to take it home. A grandmother of one of my students gave me a hug and told me what a great trip it was for her and her grandson.

How have you maneuvered online classes and distance learning? I have tried to offer as much online opportunities as I could, but also acknowledging that not everyone has access to complete online activities or use Zoom. I have kept a balance of this and also have praised the parents for all that they are doing with their students at home, especially if they are trying to teach their child while working from home. The end of the school year was stressful for everyone and I wanted to be able to help support my students and their families in any way possible since I couldn’t see them in person.

How can families adapt to be successful during these challenging educational times? I think families can adapt to be successful during this time by making sure to have a set routine of times to complete school work that is separate from other parts of their day. During this time, there should be set expectations for students to stay focused and try their best at their work. That structure will help keep consistency, especially when we return to school. Even though it might be difficult for families, making sure to work on some skill every day will help their child to be successful. It could be as simple as your child counting the number of dishes that are being put away, practicing writing their name in chalk or tracing it in sand, or even reading a book together. There are lots of ways to make learning fun at home that can involve the whole family.

The Dayton Daily News is profiling educators in our region as they navigate through these challenging times. To nominate an educator, email Rebecca.Mullins@coxinc.com.