Mother Seton School, Emmitsburg, fifth grade teacher
Kellie Marr got a chalkboard for Christmas from her parents when she was a first grader. “I played school with my friends probably for years after that,” she says. “When I started babysitting, I started playing school with the kids I was babysitting. I just always knew I wanted to teach.”
Today, the fifth grade teacher at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg has spent more than 25 years in the field teaching in public and private schools. Planning engaging, exciting field trips is one way she’s gone above and beyond for her students. “I like to take them to places that are off the beaten path,” she says. Some of the trips her classes have taken over the years include the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Crystal Grottoes Caverns in Boonsboro and even The White House. “I love making it extra special,” she says.
Marr believes one of the biggest benefits to teaching is learning alongside the students.
Some challenges Marr has faced with teaching during the pandemic include virtual learning and the hybrid model.
“I do like (virtual learning), but I think it is hard for the students to learn virtually. I don’t mind teaching on Zoom, but I don’t like sitting. I feel like that physically was a challenge for me,” she says.
During last school year’s hybrid education, interacting with students online and in person simultaneously was difficult.
“I felt like I could not leave the camera. I was always standing in one place,” she says.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, she found pacing to be challenging. “I always worry about going too fast for some or too slow for others,” she says. “I try to do the best I can with pacing. Everyone is so different in how they learn.”
After more than two decades teaching, she enjoys seeing where her students are now. Some are married, have children or are maintaining thriving careers. She also loves seeing children’s faces when they finally understand something that they have been struggling to master for some time.