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Teacher of the Week: Holly McKinney first grade teacher at Callahan Elementary

2:27 PM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Many teachers who say they've always wanted to teach, usually do! However, that wasn't the case for Holly McKinney at Callahan Elementary.

"I'm a firm believer that it's never too late to go back to school," McKinney says, laughing.

McKinney went back to school for teaching when she was in her 50's! "It was very difficult, but I did it!" she says.

Even though she says her first love was teaching, McKinney ended up spending the good part of two decades in business and management, "I finally decided after 14 years it was time to move on and do what I wanted to do"

Now, teaching first graders, she says she gets to incorporate her life experience into her lesson plans. "At the beginning of the year, we develop our mission and vision and we sit down and we put it together, and we talk about why we're here, what a good student does, what choices are they going to make? Are they going to make good choices or bad choices? If they're bad choices, can we turn that around?"

McKinney says she wants the students to feel responsible for their learning. Even at just six and seven years old, the students track their grades and evaluate their performance. "They know where they are, what they're doing," she explains. "They know when they take a test, are they doing the best they can do?"

But it's not all business in McKinney's first grade classroom, she also makes sure there's plenty of laughter and fun, too.

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