Students in Kristin Hopper’s fourth-grade classroom at Forrest Hunt Elementary School listen intently, as their teacher reads from 'Clayton Byrd Goes Underground.' It’s a story about a little boy wanting to be part of his grandfather’s blues band.
"Pulling in books to help kids see themselves in what they read, and to make connections, so they feel like they’re a bigger part of what they’re doing," says Hopper.
Hopper has been a teacher at Forrest Hunt for eleven years, the last three in fourth grade.
In addition to reading, she also had her students playing a fun, competitive math game to make equivalent fractions more appealing.
"Ms. Hopper, sometimes she makes the work, like fun and easy," says student Gavin.
Hopper says she realized she wanted to be a teacher after participating in the ‘America Reads’ work-study program in college.
"I was able to, I felt like, help them be successful with the things they were struggling with, or expand on the things they were really good at," recalls Hopper.
However, Hopper says her biggest motivation for being an excellent teacher is being a mom to her two children.
"Every day, I go into asking, ‘am I being the kind of teacher I would want my own kids to have?”