Ming Lin nominated Linda Kraus for Class Acts. Lin said Kraus challenges her students to excel in all subjects. Regardless of the student's skill level, each is given plenty of opportunities to shine and receives plenty of positive reinforcement.
Name: Linda Kraus
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Occupation: First-grade teacher at Sierra View Elementary
Family: I have been married to my husband, Brad Kraus, for 20 years. We have two daughters, Ashley and Kimberly, ages 16 and 12.
Teaching experience: I am finishing my 19th year of teaching, all of which have been in Oakdale. I have taught first, second, third, fifth and sixth grades.
Why did you get into teaching? It's what I have always wanted to do.
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher? Showing children how much they can learn and seeing their excitement when they master a concept. Seeing the growth the students make in one school year is so rewarding.
What is the most challenging part of your job? Getting through all of the required materials in a year, while keeping learning fun and making sure the concepts are covered thoroughly.
Favorite teaching tool or activity in the classroom: An Elmo document camera and multimedia projector. Using these two devices allows me to enlarge and project student assignments on a screen so I can provide modeling for the class. These tools also allow me to project pages from stories I share with the class.
What's next in your classroom? We will begin studying about living and nonliving things next week, in science, and move into learning about the needs of plants.
Advice for new teachers: Take advantage of the resources available to you through the BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) program. Use some of your release days to observe veteran teachers who teach your grade level, at your site and others.
Advice for students: No one can take your education away from you, so go to school ready to invest in your future by learning as much as you can and preparing to be a productive member of our society.
Advice for parents: Be an active participant in your children's education. Help with homework daily, encourage your kids to do more than what's expected, and never settle for less than their best effort.
Future plans: One day, I'd like to work with college students who are studying to be teachers.
How do you reach students not interested in school? I try to make a personal connection with the students, learning about what they enjoy doing and want to learn. I try to incorporate this information into lessons, sharing opportunities, guest speakers, projects and-or conversations during the year.
I also offer extra assistance to struggling kids before school, since I am an early bird.
What would surprise people about your job? How much time and money a teacher spends in his or her classroom.
What did you do on your summer vacation? For the past two summers, my family has traveled with my parents in their RV. We have enjoyed the Oregon coast, gone to the Calgary Stampede, and seen friends and relatives in Washington and Montana.
COMPILED BY JILLIAN HANKS, BEE NEWSROOM ASSISTANT