Archive for Thursday, November 16, 2006

Coaching experience sparks urge to teach

November 16, 2006

Smiles are a key component in Lansing High School special education teacher Jamie Pollard's daily lesson plan.

This fall, Pollard began a new job at LHS as an employee of the Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative.

Pollard teaches social skills, learning strategies and math, and she visits civics and biology classes to assist students with learning disabilities. Her students are mostly freshmen.

"You just have to smile at the kids," she said. "Everybody learns differently. You have to accommodate and make those modifications for them."

Previously, she spent two years teaching at Leavenworth High School.

The Tonganoxie resident received her teaching degree three years ago. Before that, she was working at a telephone company when she realized she missed the students she had worked with as a paraprofessional and softball coach in Admire.

"I did a lot of coaching, and I like the relationships and being able to help the kids," she said. "I didn't want to be sitting behind a desk, so I went back and started on my teaching degree."

The change agreed with her.

"I like the high school kids. They're developing their own personalities, they're a little ornery, they keep you on your feet. It's always something different. You never know what's gonna happen," she said.

The best parts of her job, she said, are the positive attitudes of LHS students and staff, as well as the support of staff and administration.

"I absolutely love it. I'm very happy here," she said.

In July, she married Leavenworth High School teacher and interim head football coach Rick Pollard and became a stepmom to Patricia, 11, and Emeline, 3.

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