Johnson City, TENN. (WJHL) — Kaylea Shelton is in her eighth year teaching, half of which she has spent as a teacher at Liberty Bell Middle School.
She credits her mentor, the late Deborah Buchanan Hughes, for inspiring her to work with special education/CDC students.
“She pointed out to me when I was really young that this was the direction that I needed to go,” Shelton said.
Shelton honors her friend’s memory every day in her classroom, providing not only basic math and literacy skills, but most importantly, life skills.
“We are looking at a real life passage; we are looking at menus, recipes, informational fliers,” she said. “That’s stuff that they are going to be seeing in the real world.”
And with that real-world knowledge, Shelton adds real-world work experience. She created “The Coffee Cart,” a project to help her students gain confidence in every aspect of a business.
“Each week, they take orders, prepare coffee, they bring it around on the cart,” Liberty Bell Principal Holly Flora said. “It’s just very fulfilling for them, but it’s a big reward for our staff as well.”
“Seeing the child come into the classroom and being scared to even raise their hand and go up to the board to write their name on the board, but we go on Fridays doing “Coffee Cart” and see the change in the student; it’s priceless,” said Shelton.
Not only priceless for the students but life-changing for their families as well.
“My goal is to find and gain their top ability of independence,” Shelton said.
Congratulations to Kaylea Shelton at Liberty Bell Middle School, this week’s Educator of the Week.
To nominate an educator in your life for our Educator of the Week honor, click here.