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Nikki Janiak

Where do you teach? Estes Elementary, Owensboro Independent

What subject(s)/grade(s) do you teach? 3rd Grade Special Education

How many years have you taught? 16 years

Why did you become a teacher? I became a special education teacher because I loved working with kids and enjoyed finding different ways of solving problems. Even before I decided to be a teacher I was doing things within a school, volunteering to bring in my dog or helping students use fractions to cook staff breakfast. I knew I wanted to be in a service field and help kids.

What has been the best part of teaching that you didn’t expect when entering the profession? I didn’t expect that I would have so much fun! The classroom becomes a family. Every family has its own quirks, inside jokes, and personality combinations. While it is a job, it’s an enjoyable job!

What is one thing you wish non-teachers knew about what you do? Teaching includes many different positions which can appeal to many. Over your teaching career, you could change to a variety of different positions. I believe this keeps the job interesting and allows teachers to find good fits to match where they are in life. For instance, I was able to switch from a self-contained behavior room to a resource position when I was starting a family. The career is really wide in the range of positions it offers.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a teacher? I’m fortunate to work for a school district that pushes innovation. Last year we started to implement the concept of flooding as a way to help both students in special education and low-achieving students. The results have been very positive in raising student achievement.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t teaching? When I’m not teaching I enjoy fishing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? I would love to be a mind reader!

Social media handles: Facebook: teachwithme

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