Teacher of the Week: Kathy Caston

Teacher of the Week: Kathy Caston

Meet KATHY CASTON, a 32-year veteran who taught first, second, fifth and sixth grade and P.E. in the Danville school district and now is in her ninth year of teaching kindergarten at Northeast Elementary Magnet School.

"I have taught two generations of families, so I can say, 'Did you know I taught your mom or dad?'" Caston says. "My all-time favorite things are when a parent requests to have me as their child's teacher. I am honored, and I know I have done something right."

This year, Caston also felt honored when Danville High School senior Kendle Moore, who was in her first class of kindergarten students, requested to student teach in her classroom. Moore has been helping out for about 45 minutes a few days each week.

"I was excited," she said. "We need more good male teachers."

When it comes to what I like most about the age group I teach ... I enjoy the things 5- and 6-year-olds say. Some of my favorites are, "What's wrong with your hair?" and "Are you 100 years old?" I also enjoy when a child sounds out a word, and they feel so proud, or they learn something you've been trying to teach them and the light bulb comes on.

The subject I enjoy teaching the most is ... kindergarten phonics. It's a lot of rhymes, repeating phonemes, tapping and clapping and learning to sound out words. I feel it's the most important part of our day because it leads to my students to becoming readers, which is my ultimate goal for each one of them.

As far as my favorite teachers growing up ... I had several favorite teachers at Garfield Elementary School. Kay Kilbourne, second grade, and Madeline Holycross, sixth grade. I think when I had Mrs. Kilbourne in second grade, I knew I wanted to be a teacher.

Three items I have on my desk are ... a phone; an encouraging note from my principal, Kelly Truex; and my lesson plans.

My classroom pet peeve is ... when I tell my students to put a paper in their take-home folder, and they put it inside their desk.

One item on my bucket list is ... to retire next year and go to Hawaii with my husband.

If I weren't a teacher, I would ... do something helping the elderly.

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