Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Week: Melanie Kuykendall

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JACKSON, Tenn. — It’s time to introduce you to this week’s Educator of the Week presented by the Tennessee Education Lottery. Melanie Kuykendall teaches fourth and fifth grade math and science at Malesus Elementary School. “I try to do a lot of group work and use a lot of materials,” Kuykendall said. “We do little chants and we sing and dance and just kind of getting them up and moving.” Kuykendall taught Kindergarten for three years, but this year she accepted the challenge of moving up grade levels. “I never would have thought I would have moved to 4th and 5th,” she said. “I was actually thinking they’re just not my grade, but they asked me this year.” She says she is glad she started in Kindergarten because her experiences translate well with the new age group. “I get to do a lot more group and activity work because they’re more independent and responsible at this age,” she said. Kuykendall says she wanted to become a teacher to help impact lives. “I had a lot of teachers who made a huge impact on my life and I knew I wanted to do the same for other children, and I really loved younger children.” She says she loves the feeling of helping young children. “I think I have to, every morning, just say ‘OK, why am I doing this?,’ not let myself forget or get overwhelmed with the things or the tasks that teachers have.” She will now be eligible for the statewide Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award. To vote for her or any of the other nominees, go to seehowitaddsup.com. To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, you can email us at educator@wbbjtv.com.

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