By Lloyd Bruner
Katelynne Levesque is in her sixth year teaching sixth grade math at I.A. Lewis. Her grandmother and aunt were teachers, but Levesque says passionate math teachers in her life inspired her most to pursue teaching.
“I have always wanted to be a math teacher,” Levesque said. “When I was younger, I would play school with my younger siblings, and I would tutor my friends in math. I love the subject, I love the impact a single teacher can have on the future of a student, and I even love the tedious parts of the job such as grading or prepping.”
Levesque stated her basic principles of teaching.
“I build relationships first, then focus on teaching,” she said. “Students often have the mindset that they are either good or bad at math, but really, they just either have or haven’t learned it yet. So, I make each lesson approachable and attainable while building their confidence.”
Levesque said her favorite thing is to see students grow throughout the year.
“Seeing a student who initially struggled in math turn to help their neighbor later,” she said. “I can’t hide my smile when I hear students sharing what they remember from class with their peers.”
Levesque served as 4-H adviser, cheer sponsor and teacher leader. She was the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year at I. A. Lewis. She is in her third year as adviser for the FBLA Middle Level chapter at I. A. Lewis after being asked to by her mentor so it would be in good hands.
“This extra connection has allowed me to form deeper bonds with my students,” she said. “Motivating them and teaching them to break out of their comfort zone and try new things is so rewarding. The quietest students will be giving speeches and presentations before judges. Their creativity and generosity flow as they create new ways to volunteer and help our community. Most importantly, they learn to network and expand their circle of friends and colleagues. I follow these students as they continue with FBLA at the junior high and high school. I am always proud to see how far they have progressed.
“My favorite thing about teaching is the students, “ Levesque said. “I have taught the same subject and grade level my whole career, but I cannot say I have ever repeated a year. Each group of students is so unique. I love getting to know them over the year and laugh alongside them as we learn and grow. It brings me joy and pride as they apply the different strategies we learn throughout the year.
“More often than not, students I have taught give up before beginning a problem simply because they’ve already decided they can’t do it,” Levesque said. “After encouraging them to try, they almost always get it correct with no other hints or help needed. Confidence is what leads to success. So don’t let fear hold you back.”
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