Connie Peters

Kittrell Elementary

City/School System
Waterloo Community Schools

Subjects and Grade Level
1st Grade

What’s the thing you like most about teaching?
I love the “zing” of connection during a lesson when the students begin to understand the concept and are excited about their learning and accomplishment. There is a real satisfaction in knowing your preparation and efforts helped facilitate that learning.

What’s the thing you find most challenging about teaching?
Good teaching requires planning, energy and enthusiasm. In recent years, teachers have been asked to do many tasks that deplete all three.

Best tip for new teachers?
Develop a trusting relationship with your students. Do this by treating them with respect. When there are academic or behavior problems, talk with the student to create a plan together as to how the problem can be solved. Follow through and keep your word.

Best tip for career teachers?
Remember why you wanted to be a teacher. Hang onto those moments of joy you find in working with children. If you can’t find that anymore, it’s time to stop.

Favorite piece of advice for students?
Work hard, do your best, try again when you mess up, and be kind to others. (Good advice for teachers, too!)

What does being a Gold Star Teacher mean to you?
It has been a wonderful honor and the highlight of my career. I am filled with gratitude for the students, families and colleagues from whom I’ve learned the skills that brought me this award. My heartfelt thanks to the R.J. McElroy Trust and the Gold Star Teacher selection committee for treating us like “superstars.”