Kelly Ridgway is a high school English teacher in Lamont, Oklahoma. Ms. Ridgway has been a teacher for six years and has a great story about how she came to the decision to teach!
How and when did you decide to become a teacher?
Oddly enough, when I was getting my Bachelor’s degree, my father encouraged me to get a teacher’s certificate at the same time. I adamantly refused to do so because I was never going to be a teacher! I started teaching while I was in graduate school, and continued to teach part-time as an adjunct faculty member at a local community college. About six years ago, I felt God leading me to teach full time. I went through my state’s alternative certification program and have been teaching ever since. I truly love teaching. My only regret is that I didn’t listen to my father when I was an undergraduate.
Tell us about a project you’ve recently had funded through DonorsChoose.org.
This year, my “Learning with the Bard” project was funded providing my students with classroom sets of two of Shakespeare’s plays in a graphic novel format: The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet. We had so much fun reading them. Neither of the classes that read the books had read Shakespeare before. They were nervous about doing so, but the comic book format made it easy to understand the language and follow the action. When we finished reading the books, I made them available to other classes. They’ve been popular! In fact, I have had students ask me to get more of his plays in this format.
What a great story! It sounds like you’ve really helped your students discover something new! We’d love to hear about one of your favorite teachers.
This is a hard question to answer. I’ve spent 21 years of my life in school, and I’ve had many great teachers. I had two teachers in high school that really encouraged me to be the best I could be: Lynn Babinski and Ginger Stout. Mrs. Babinski was my journalism teacher for four years. She taught me to write, but more importantly, she taught me how important it is for teachers to care about their students. Mrs. Stout was my Spanish teacher for three years. She taught me the value of trust and commitment in the classroom.
Thank you, Ms. Ridgway for telling us your story! To see Ms. Ridgway’s projects, check out her teacher page.