Stacy Hoskinson: Celebrating Every Student

educatorAs students move from center to center in Stacy Hoskinson’s first-grade classroom, she can feel the excitement in the room. She can see it in the eyes of her students.

“First grade is where my heart is,” said Hoskinson, a veteran teacher of 20 years, the past seven at Southern

Elementary in Georgetown, Ky. “You can see the excitement in their faces when they learn to read or learn something they didn’t know before. And that excitement carries over to me.

They are so eager, it fills my heart with joy.”

Not that she doesn’t face challenges every day. In today’s world, with classroom size creeping higher and higher and the considerable range of skill levels of the children, Hoskinson’s mottos are adaption and flexibility.

Her students range from non-readers to children reading at the second and third-grade level.

Meeting each child’s individual needs is Job One for Hoskinson.

“We must be able to modify and adapt on a yearly, monthly and daily basis,” she said. “We have to meet children where they are so that we make sure they are growing in themselves and in their abilities.”

Toward that end, she starts each day with more than two hours of reading instruction. Students move in groups of three and four to a variety of centers in the room staffed by fellow teachers and aides. At each center, children are asked to complete specific tasks in reading, writing, listening and more. Because of the small group size, children receive individualized attention.

“What makes Stacy special is her willingness to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of her students,” Principal Bryan Blankenship said. Hoskinson is especially attuned to her students with special needs. That sensitivity has been nurtured by her experience as a parent. The mother of two children,

Stacy’s high school-aged son has autism.

“She wants to fight for these kids just like she wants schools to fight for her child,” Blankenship said.

For her part, Hoskinson fosters an ethic of inclusion.

“Every child is an individual and important to the classroom and society,” she said. “We make sure that we embrace differences.

“My students are my children, and I tell them I care about them and will to the end of time.”
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