A Purdue University graduate and elementary school teacher, Katie Talbert knows the importance of learning new things. Growing up with her mother as a teacher and eventually watching her older sister become a teacher, Talbert has wanted to be a teacher of elementary-aged kids for as long as she can remember. Finishing her 25th year, Talbert continues to pounce on new opportunities.
As a vetertan teacher for La Porte Community School Corporation, Talbert decided to do something different this year by teaming up with Project Lead the Way. The project is a STEM class for grades K-12 and provides hands-on activities that help students solve real-world problems.
“I love being a teacher and I get very involved in the school and the activities and I love building bonds with the students and their families,” Talbert said. “I love a new challenge, and when I heard about Project Lead the Way, it felt like something I had been training for.”
While there are a lot of things Talbert misses about being a classroom teacher, she enjoys being able to make even more bonds and encourage more students through Project Lead the Way.
“When I was young, I always felt that I wasn’t very good at math or science, but as I got older, I became more interested in those subjects,” Talbert said. “I just want to see other kids be inspired to try things that are difficult and not give up.”
Even though the first year of Project Lead the Way was cut short due to COVID-19, the students were still able to enjoy their coursework and even some fun, optional activities from home.
“One of the fun activities we have done was a lego building challenge, and another was to create something using materials around their house like a toilet paper roll,” Talbert said. “The kids enjoy it because it’s less pressure than in the classroom;we’ve been getting really good responses across the board.”
Being away from the classroom during this time has helped Talbert realize just how much she loves and appreciates her job and technology.
“It helps remind us to appreciate the times we have together,” Talbert said. “I think we can take those for granted and worry about a lot of different things, but I try to stay positive and continue to build those connections.”
Personally, Talbert is happy to see all of the positive news going around and the extra time she gets to spend with her husband, daughters, and grandkids.
“I’m inspired by all of the people that continue to have a positive attitude and work together to make the community and the nation stronger,” Talbert said. “It’s been sort of a blessing.”