Name: Alysa Lair
Years teaching: 6
Grade level: 4th
Why did you become an educator?
When I was a kid, I loved playing "school" with old workbooks, stuffed animals, and my sister (when I could talk her into it). Throughout my life, I've enjoyed being around children and watching them learn. Once I reached college, I realized teaching was still something I thought I would enjoy and do well, so I changed my major and here we are!
What educator had the greatest influence on your life and why?
My fourth grade teacher, Miss Ellis, was phenomenal. I still remember the little "extra" things she did - putting on a silly hat to read Harry Potter, letting us cool down with the lights off and a water bottle spritz on the back of the neck after recess, and spending time with me making a pros and cons list before we moved to Texas.
What is the best part of teaching?
Seeing that "lightbulb" moment in my students is my absolute favorite thing. I love getting to know each of my kids, learning about their lives and the things they enjoy, and seeing how their personalities develop as they grow, but their excitement in that moment when they really "get" whatever we've been learning is the best!
What does success look like in your classroom?
For me, success = growth! Whether we see growth in reading levels, knowledge base, or even just in personal confidence, my classroom sees growth as success.
What is unique about Miles ISD?
The continuity! Knowing that generations of families have come through our doors, returning year after year with their children and grandchildren, visiting for Homecoming, etc., feels like something that doesn't happen much anymore. Seeing the children of my high school classmates walk into my classroom every day is so much fun, and I love those connections for our school and community.
Advice to parents:
Please, read to and with your children! Whatever entertains you, whether that is a novel, an online article comparing items you're considering for purchase, or a manual for rebuilding a farm implement, read at the same time as your kids. Show them that reading is important, and talk with them about what they're reading.
What makes you hopeful?
The adaptability of my current group of kids gives me so much hope for the future of our little town and our country! They came back after months of not being in a regular classroom and have rolled with every punch, adjusted their thinking and habits, and kept really awesome attitudes while working hard to cover more ground than any group of fourth graders has ever had to worry about. They're absolutely awesome!
"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." Mason Cooley
Favorite Children’s Book:
I love the Harry Potter series!
Reading (I know, you're shocked!), spending time with family and friends, and scrolling Pinterest
Gardetto's, Sour Patch Watermelon, or any chocolate without coconut
Favorite way to relax:
Sitting in the quiet, reading or just listening to the birds
Staying in a cabin at Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Missouri