Kansas Master Teacher Award Program
5th Grade Teacher
Washington Elementary School
USD 490, El Dorado
"My teaching style varies to match my students' learning styles, interests, and needs. I try to find the key to each student's learning, and I am rewarded when I see the understanding take place. I like for my students to use a discovery method along with hands-on activities and a cognitive awareness about their learning. Manipulatives, dramatic play, games, and investigations are a few of the activities that help my students who have trouble with pencil and paper learning. They also apply their new knowledge in practical applications such as measuring paper to wrap Valentine boxes or using technical reading and geometry to construct tetrahedron kites. I want them to understand how they learn and how to use that knowledge in the real world."
Honors and Awards
El Dorado Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year, 1994
"You Make a Difference" district award for building, 1995, 1998
Nominee for El Dorado Teacher of the Year, 1999
USD 490 Elementary Teacher of the Year, 2001
What People Say. . .
A teaching colleague had this to say, "Jan places extremely high value on education and the teaching profession. This high regard shines through in all she does. It is with love and patience that Jan guides her students through the path of success. Her high expectations are clear in a classroom that provides a safe and homey atmosphere. She is constantly researching instructional models and the most powerful ways to present material to her students. She develops a love for learning and feeling of success for all students in her classroom, often spending many hours after school communicating with parents and helping students understand something they may be struggling with."
According to her principal, "Mrs. Prather believes teaching is more about children than subject matter. She also thinks her mission is to prepare students to reach the maximum of their ability. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to constantly meet the diverse needs of students with multiple levels of instruction each day. When dealing with students who are having difficulty learning, Mrs. Prather looks at where the barrier is to learning. She responds to each student's needs that are different than that of their classmates."
A former student who had Mrs. Prather in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades said this of Mrs. Prather: "She has been my inspiration to do the best I can do. She taught me kindness to others and patience. She has a special relationship with each student. I don't think I will ever find a teacher with whom I will have the same or better relationship with than Mrs. Prather. She was the one to inspire me to think about my future, hopes, and dreams. She has touched my life, and I know she has touched many others before me and will do the same after me. She opened doors for me and showed me the light to happiness."