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ST. MARYS — Though Kimberli Glass has been involved in the St. Marys City Schools for several years now, this school year will be her first as a full-time teacher with her own classroom and her own set of students.
Glass is an intervention specialist for fourth graders at the intermediate school, and she said she is excited to be there. Glass has been a substitute teacher for the past five years and coached the JV Volleyball team for four years.
“It kind of goes back to when my daughter was in school, because at the age of 4, we found out that she had hearing loss in both ears,” Glass said as to why she got into education. “So I watched her go through school without intervention.”
It was difficult to watch her child struggle with certain subjects and not get the extra help she needed, so Glass did her best to be a resource. This is the main reason for her developed interest in wanting to help students with special needs.
Glass moved to St. Marys in 2004 because she owned Spectacular Adventures Travel Agency. While she was working there, she also worked as a substitute teacher and became involved in the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce. Glass was on the chamber board, and headed up the beautification committee. She helped organize youth projects once a month while working closely with high school guidance counselor Sue Cheslock.
“She helped me because of the DECA program,” Glass said. “So we would organize anything from a city cleanup, cleanup of the canal. We painted the nativity scene for the city of St. Marys. We helped the city paint underneath Spring Street Bridge, just to name a few of the projects ... Just working with the youth, spending time with them, coaching and doing the projects through the beautification committee, I got that urge to pursue that education degree.”
Glass recently completed her master’s degree in education at the Lake Campus. Her first week and a half at the intermediate school has gone well, she said. Her role as an intervention specialist is multifaceted and involves more than just teaching.
“I go into two different classrooms,” she said. “So in the morning I go into math and science to co-teach and provide intervention to students who need that extra help. And then in the afternoon I do the same thing with reading and social studies.”
Co-teaching, she said, is a collaboration between her and the general education teacher. This teacher will teach a lesson, and Glass will teach another section while the general education teacher goes around the classroom and observes students.
“When I’m not with the general education teachers, I’m in my own room providing intervention for students (who) need the extra assistance,” Glass said. “There’s times where we’ll split groups in half and the last two day’s I’ve actually taught math to about 12 students at a time. When you put them in smaller groups ... it’s easier to get the information across to them in a more effective time.”
Glass’ favorite part of the job is getting to know the students, but she says having her own classroom is a pretty good perk.
One of her goals for this year, she said, is to give students the tools to help them understand the material any way they can. Mainly, she hopes for a successful school year.
The staff is a big part of why Glass feels it will be.
“As a new teacher, the staff has been very welcoming and helpful,” she said. “(They are a) true network of nice people willing to do what they can to help out when needed. A sort of we got your back, you will not fail mentality. I’m very happy to be a part of this team and look forward to the rest of the school year.”