Jessie Buhrle is one of two kindergarten teachers new to Lake County School District #7.
Buhrle, has taught the Warner Valley pre-school for the past two years in the Adel and Plush area. She was looking for a full-time position, along with a new adventure as the reasons behind her decision to apply for the kindergarten teaching positions in LCSD#7.
“I have always been open to something different and I want to see what a bigger district and a bigger classroom looks like,” said Buhrle.
While kindergarten has changed from the past, it is now full day and more academic as the start of more formal education; Buhrle is ready for the challenge of working with more students than what she had in pre-school.
One of her goals as a kindergarten teacher, is similar to when she was a pre-school teacher, is making learning fun and to get her students into that mindset.
“I want to be creative when I am teaching and to get the students excited about learning,” said Buhrle.
She plans to show opportunities they have to explore the world even if they are in a small town, and that learning never stops.
“I like teaching younger students, as the innocence of the students restores my faith in humanity,” said Buhrle.
She said that students who are in kindergarten and pre-school are like sponges, wanting to learn, have discussions and to say what is on their mind; as they have not built up walls and made perceived notions about the world.
“I want my students to be safe at school, as this will make them successful. I want them to continue to have that self-worth about themselves into the later grades,” said Buhrle.
Buhrle wants her students to learn the importance of imagination and to never lose it after they leave kindergarten.
She knows that COVID could have a big impact on the upcoming school year, as the LCSD#7 is working on plans of how school will be handled in 2020-21. Buhrle is ready for the challenge of the upcoming school year, whatever model that the school district follows or whether school needs to be modified in the coming school year.
“We have to use technology in different wants and to connect through technology. Building relationships is important, and that skill be done through technology, though it will be more difficult,” said Buhrle.
One area that she feels would be difficult is working out the logistics, if distance learning has to be implemented, especially with many children possibly not having internet access, limited access, and not wanting to spend a lot of time in front of a screen. She said that both teachers and students will need to be flexible going forward.
“It scares me for the kids right now, we need to be a beacon of positivity for them,” said Buhrle.
Buhrle is ready and anxious to get into the classroom to meet the students that she will be teaching. She loves to use song and activities to engage with the students; not only making learning fun, but using these fun activities as a learning tool. Buhrle said that difficult topics, including COVID, can be easier to tackle through song and activities than talking it out.
“I want them to feel that sense of accomplishment in and outside of the classroom,” said Buhrle. “We have an awesome responsibility to the students that we have, it is something that does keep me up at night. These are budding little lives that we are responsible for and they will take their cue from us, the teachers.”