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‘No day is the same, and that’s why I enjoy it’

Why I Teach: Monica Moore 

Kent City — Monica Moore has been teaching at Kent City Community Schools for 12 years. She spent four years as a reading interventionist before transitioning to teaching second grade.

Kent City is a special place and there are a lot of things going on,” Moore said. “We all want our kids to be successful, and ideally, I’d like to finish my career here.” 

What is the thing that gets you up in the morning and excited about teaching? “Honestly, it’s really that joy I look forward to, and seeing the kids every day. I honestly tell my kids that I love coming to work every day. I can’t explain it but no day is the same, and that’s why I enjoy it.”

What are some of the biggest challenges and how do you strive to meet them? “Behavioral challenges in the classroom. Since COVID, the more extreme behaviors have become the toughest part. There is a lot more need, but we have a lot of great professionals in our building to give us the support we need.” 

What’s the most amazing thing about second-grade students? “I feel like they are very self-sufficient in a lot of ways. They sometimes get my sarcasm and they have so much growth in second grade. They come in not able to write or read a lot and we watch a huge amount of growth happen throughout the year. They are becoming big kids now.”

Second-grade teacher Monica Moore helps her student Levi Kline add the numbers on his dice for a math game

What are some of the biggest differences in teaching pre and post pandemic? “These kids (I have now) have been in school the whole time. They can function in the classroom and socialize. During the pandemic, we were in school most of the time, but it was so different. Even the adults were affected. (Today) it’s a different world. This year has been the most normal and we’re seeing a blend of the way we did things before COVID and what we learned from it.” 

When did you know you wanted to go into teaching? “My sister is a teacher, and when I was in high school I really loved being in her classroom and thought, ‘I could do that.’ I went to Grand Valley State University for my degree in education, and now I have a student teacher in my classroom who is going to GVSU to become a teacher.” 

What would you say to someone considering teaching as a profession? “Experience in a district is when you learn the most. It’s a lot of work and being in your classroom is the best part of your day, but there are a lot of other things that can get in your way. Balance. You need balance and you have to have a life outside of your school. There will always be a to-do list, and you have to (be able to) leave it and accept it. It’s OK, and it will be there tomorrow.”

Read more from Kent City: 
Want student behavior to change? Make them teach it
Filling students’ buckets with praise

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”

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