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Educator of the Week -Ashley Kelley

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

Decaturville Elementary School 1st grade teacher Ashley Kelley hopes to have a positive influence on every child with whom she comes in contact.

"They may not always be in my room, but I do love interacting with kids of all ages," said Kelley.

But she has a special place in her heart for her 1st graders.

"They come to you and they're like sponges," said Kelley. "They're just ready to take off. I always tell them, they're like a rocket that hasn't quite gotten all their fuel, but I give them the fuel and they're ready to take off by the time they leave."

Kelley's "fuel" includes the usual standards of reading, writing, addition and subtraction, but it also includes respect.

"Respecting themselves, respecting others, respecting their teacher, and respecting anyone that works in the school and in the community," said Kelley. "I really hope that's the main thing they get out of 1st grade."

And while her students have their own lessons, this educator says she learns to adapt to each child's needs.

"There's kids that are into sports, and there are kids that are into riding horses, and there's kids that are really into school and there are kids that are really not. And you just have to pick up on that and try to adapt the lesson towards the kids' interests," said Kelley. "I want everyone to be successful - whatever level and whatever interest, I want them to be successful."