My name is Kelsey Phillips, and I graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education with a double concentration in Reading (K-12) and Science (K-6). This is my 5th year teaching and I am currently a 5th grade math and science teacher at Sam D. Bundy Elementary School in Pitt County. Also, I am currently obtaining my Master’s in Science Education from East Carolina University. I will graduate in May 2019 and I couldn’t be more excited to continue my educational journey with a new degree! I had the opportunity to study abroad with Dr. Tammy Lee in Costa Rica last summer. This experience provided me with a plethora of knowledge that I will take back to my students. I was able to hike through the cloud forest, explore a volcano, and dive into a different culture. I am also the assistant coach for the East Carolina University Color Guard and have been doing this for the past three years. I bleed purple and gold!
My first two years of teaching I was at W. H. Robinson Elementary School in Winterville, NC where I taught all subjects in 5th grade. My second year teaching I was awarded the North Carolina Science Teacher Association (NCSTA) Region 1 Teacher of the Year. This year I published an article with Dr. Tammy Lee in a children’s science magazine. In my third year of teaching, I moved to Sam D. Bundy Elementary School to teach 5th grade math and science. The move to Sam D. Bundy Elementary School afforded me the opportunity to be in charge of planning and implementing a school wide science day. My fourth year teaching I was named Sam D. Bundy Elementary School Teacher of the year. I was also a Pitt County Teacher of the Year finalist. Last year, I had the opportunity to teach at the Boys and Girls Club afterschool, which allowed me to build positive relationships not only with my current students but students that attend my school. The past three years I have been a Science Olympiad coach for my school, which has helped students experience science in a completely different way. I take students to a competition in March and they compete in different events in which they have become experts. Seeing the joy on these kids’ faces during the competition will warm anyone’s heart. While I am very thankful for the recognition, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student succeed.
My teaching philosophy differs from most teachers. I strive to make my teaching as real world as possible. If you came into my room, you would not see students using textbooks or repetitive math problems. I connect lessons to real world careers by transforming them into biologists, athletic trainers, financial advisors, and more, who face rigorous challenges incorporating imagination in realistic careers. I also find that using real world careers in my lessons has increased student engagement and motivation. I teach at an elementary school that incorporates AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), which strives to make students college and career ready. Students are eager to learn about the careers and what types of problems they might endure. Engaging and motivating activities are not complete without having high expectations. With the high engagement factor and by building positive relationships with my students, I have had very few discipline problems. Being a positive light can change anyone’s perspective on learning and their willingness to learn. In fact, I truly believe they go together with motivation and holding students to high standards.