Kansas Master Teacher Award Program
First Grade Teacher
Sunflower Elementary School
USD 497, Lawrence
For Kassie Shook, teaching her students classroom skills is only one part of the equation. She is also a strong believer in the fact that these skills should be relatable to children outside of the classroom in real-life situations. She not only acknowledges that there is an art and a science to teaching, but also adds a third element: a love of teaching.
“The love of teaching is taking the science and the art and being able to genuinely connect with your heart,” Kassie says. Students experience her passion for teaching on an emotional level in addition to a scholastic one. She treats her classroom as a “family.” It is a safe haven where students feel comfortable growing and learning from mistakes which allow them to develop confidence and a sense of self worth.
A former student explains, “I can still remember how encouraging and supportive she was and how she always tried to get us to believe in the possibility that we could do and be something special.” It is evident that Kassie’s attempts to instill a love of learning into her students stays with them and fosters a life-long desire to do so.
Knowing that she cannot accomplish all this by herself, Kassie also actively engages in team teaching and collaborating with others. She is always ready to help others when needed and takes a positive attitude to any new situation. Teaching, learning and keeping her students’ best interests at heart is her passion. As one student claims, “Well, she does like us!”
Kassie Shook received her master’s degree in 2002 from The University of Kansas, and her bachelor’s in 1995 from Missouri State University.