We’re highlighting a teacher every Wednesday as a part of the #RedForEd campaign.

Every year is a great year to celebrate our teachers, but this year has shined a bright light on the flexibility and compassion of our incredible staff.

Today we’re highlighting Mrs. Kim Souder, a reading recovery teacher at Davis Park Elementary School.

What motivates you?
My motivation comes from doing what I love. This is my dream job! I love getting to teach one-on-one every day in an environment that is accepting and welcoming. Nothing could be more rewarding than teaching struggling first graders to read.

How has your job changed due to COVID?
My job is twice as hard now, because I need to see the child’s mouth and they need to see mine. Obviously, masks get in the way of this process. Also, first graders need nurtured and it’s hard to do that from a distance. It amazes me how resilient kids are though. They take all of the new COVID procedures in stride without letting it affect their daily routine at all.

What is something that people don’t understand about your job?
Teaching Reading Recovery takes so much patience! It is easy to just tell a child an unknown word in reading, but my job is to get the child to try multiple reading strategies to decode the word on his own while still trying to read fluently and for meaning. Most first graders don’t have a lot of prior reading knowledge to draw upon, so I need to fill in the gaps for the struggling readers.

Why do you love VCSC/your school?
I came to Davis Park in 1993 and taught first grade for 14 years. I then decided to challenge myself by moving to Reading Recovery. This is my 14th year teaching Reading Recovery, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. All of us at Davis Park have the attitude that we will do whatever it takes to make sure our students succeed. The caring staff and students at Davis Park have made this my home, and I can’t wait to spend another 14 years here!

Be sure to check back on #Staffurday–Saturday, that is–as we recognize members of our non-teaching staff. We’ll continue both campaigns through the end of the school year.