Meet TeacherReady teacher Laura Corder. Ms. Corder earned a professional teaching certificate through TeacherReady, an online alternative certification program and a member of the NCATE accredited educator preparation institute of the University of West Florida. As an alternative certification program, TeacherReady provides individuals with a bachelor’s degree in any subject area and opportunity to earn a professional teaching certificate in any of the subject areas offered by the State of Florida.
In her first year as a kindergarten teacher at Pea Ridge Elementary School in 2014-15, Ms. Corder was recognized by her peers as “Rookie of the Year.” We connected with Ms. Corder after her award-winning first year as a new classroom teacher and asked her to reflect on and share about year 1. As we close in on the new school year and celebrate many more TeacherReady teachers’ first year in their own classroom, we wanted to share a portion of Laura’s response:
I was hired as a kindergarten teacher one week before school started. Needless to say I was beyond thrilled, but also overwhelmed to get a classroom setup and ready for students in only one week! I had many family members, including my Mom, who had just retired after 38 years of teaching ESE in Okaloosa, and fellow grade level friends help me setup my classroom and lend a hand for countless hours. Ultimately, I realized the picture-perfect room wasn’t the most important thing but rather what I would be teaching those Kinders throughout the year.
I have learned so many things throughout my first year and have had so many rewarding moments! One of the best parts about this first year is watching such an unbelievable growth take place with these kindergarteners. I had many students come into school from various backgrounds: some from formal preschools and others with no previous schooling at all. It is so neat to watch these students grow leaps and bounds over the course of a year.
This year I have learned how important it is to meet every student where he or she is, providing differentiated instruction, and being attentive to all my students’ needs. By offering various learning styles throughout my instruction time, I have ultimately seen my students successfully climb the learning ladder.
I am still learning so many things and am so excited to continue learning every day throughout my teaching career. One thing I would like to improve upon is to increase my collaboration with my peers. I would love to pop in to more classrooms during my planning periods and learn new techniques and teaching styles from many other teachers and grade levels.
I have so many people to thank for making my first year such a successful one. My grade level at Pea Ridge has been the most supportive, amazing part about this new first year adventure. We all work together as a team and share so many resources and ideas and genuinely look after every member of the team. I believe I am successful because of the amazing team I am surrounded with. I also have such a supportive administrative team. A big thank you to our principal Mrs. Fleming and Assistant Principal Mrs. Dwiggins for believing in me and allowing me to be a part of the Pea Ridge family. I also could not have made it through my first year without the best mentors ever. Mrs. Mertins and Mrs. Clark have helped me along this journey every single day. They have answered a million and one questions from me and have helped me to become the teacher I am today. Finally, I cannot say enough AMAZING things about the TeacherReady Program. The program is the best out there for anyone looking to change their careers and prepare to become a teacher. Thank you, TeacherReady for making my first year such a successful one, and I am confident that there will be many more to come.
As we close in on the new school year, we’re excited to share about Ms. Corder, a “Rookie of the Year” teacher during her first year in the classroom, and who just happens to be a TeacherReady teacher. Know someone who would be a great teacher? For more information about earning a professional teaching certificate or license, contact TeacherReady at 850-898-3949 or visit or connect with current teacher candidates and alumni on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/teacherreadyprogram.
Many, many thanks to Ms. Laura Corder, 2014-15 “Rookie of the Year” at Pea Ridge Elementary, Santa Rosa County School District, Florida, for sharing her Year 1 experience and a classroom photo with readers of Who’s Engaged. We thank Laura for choosing to teach and working to create a classroom full of engaged learners.
Become a teacher with the assistance of TeacherReady. TeacherReady offers individuals an opportunity to earn a professional teaching certificate from the State of Florida; it was developed by teachers for teachers and is a member of the NCATE/CAEP accredited Professional Education Unit at the University of West Florida.