TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) – October's Teacher of the Month has been a teacher for six years, and she's made a huge impact on hundreds of children. Mrs. Kerri Box, who teaches 4th grade at Cedar Park Elementary in Trumann, was awarded the honors by one of her current students.
"I was speechless when I found out. When I read her letter, I wanted to cry because that kind of stuff makes all the bad days go away. It makes you to remember and realize why you ever started in the first place," said Box, who graduated from Trumann High School in 2002.
Box said she likes to have fun with her students, but only if her students do their school work.
"I definitely want my kids to have fun in class, but at the same time we have expectations that we must follow. When expectations are followed, then we can have fun," said Box.
Box said one of the biggest challenges this school year is working with new technology. The Trumann School District was able to purchase a computer system for each student. Teachers had to learn how to use the computers in class before the school year began.
"Every student has a Macbook in my classroom, and so we try to utilize technology as much as possible," said Box. "I don't want to do the work for them. I want them to discover it for themselves because that's how they have knowledge that lasts a lifetime."
Box said her teaching style is more modern, giving students the tools to learn through discovery.
"If when we're studying nouns, if they're not sure about it, I'll have them get on the internet, research it, go to Brain Pop and find out more information about those different subjects," said Box. "You get to work with kids and you see 'ah ha' moments. It's amazing to see the growth that they can make in a year."
"She is a perfect teacher when you're struggling. She can help you figure something out, like she can give you a strategy," said Katie Rutledge, the student who nominated Box.
"I think that it's obvious that we care here and my job is to help these students. I want to make sure that they are prepared and equipped for life and i'm going to do whatever it takes to make sure that they are," said Box.
Speaking of the nomination, Box said, "I was very shocked. That's something that you don't ever expect."
"It just kind of reassured me on what I was doing. It helped me to understand that I am here for a purpose," said Box.
Box said she knew from an early age she wanted to be an education professional.
"I've known since the 9th grade that I wanted to be a teacher. What I wanted to teach was a question for a while," said Box. "I want to make sure that I meet every student and in the classroom the size of 20 students, everyone is on a different level. Meeting those needs for every student is a challenge."