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What Kansas City teachers learned from surviving their first year on the job

Kansas school buses outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka in 2018.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen
/
Kansas News Service
Kansas school buses outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka in 2018.

From student behavioral and emotional needs to longstanding issues with pay, teaching is challenging even in the best of circumstances. Three local elementary school teachers shared how they approached their recent first years, and how they plan to tackle the next.

The Missouri State Teacher Association found that 70% of teachers in the state have considered leaving the field in 2024.

With Missouri facing a teacher shortage, maintaining first-year educators could be an important step to solving the issue.

Three elementary school teachers shared with KCUR's Up To Date how they approached their recent first years, and how they plan to tackle the next.

The three elementary teachers talked about the challenges they faced and what encourages them to stay in the field.

"The difference between a first-year teacher and a second-year teacher is that the second-year teacher knows everything is going to be OK," said Maggie Quinn, who teaches 3rd grade at the Academy for Integrated Arts.

  • Maggie Quinn, 3rd grade teacher at Academy for Integrated Arts
  • Tanya Martinez, former 1st grade teacher at George Carver Dual Language School, incoming 2nd grade teacher at Guadalupe Centers Elementary School
  • Kayla Williams, 4th grade teacher Santa Fe Elementary
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Aurora Wilson is an Up To Date student intern from UMKC. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Roo News, UMKC’s student publication, where she previously served as its lifestyle and culture editor. Email her at awilson@kcur.org.
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