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K-State Today

October 10, 2017



College of Education announces documentary premiere about first-year teachers

By Patrice Scott

The College of Education announces the release of its 2017 documentary "A Walk in My Shoes: The First 9 Months," which chronicles the journeys of several first-year teachers and the real-time highs and lows they experienced along the way. 

The film will debut at 1 p.m. Oct. 12 in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union as part of the college's annual Education Symposium. The premiere is free and open to the public. A second showing will be on Nov. 20 when leaders in education across Kansas will be on campus for the inaugural Education Summit. The documentary has a dedicated Facebook page, "The First 9 Months," filled with video snippets that didn't make it into the film.  

"We have covered important issues through this video series over time but I truly believe this subject is of the utmost importance right now," said College of Education Dean Debbie Mercer referencing the need for teachers. "This not only offers a realistic look inside the classroom but will also serve as an incredible resource for teacher education programs, for people considering the profession, and it may be quite enlightening for parents, too." 

Becky Brady, one of the teachers who agreed to be in the documentary, explained she grew more comfortable in front of the camera, just like she did with teaching. 

"Sharing personal thoughts and feelings to a camera was odd at first, but after the first few weeks I found myself thinking ‘wow, I cannot wait to share this story,’" Brady said. "I hope my authentic exposure to a primary classroom will help preservice teachers see that the work they do every single day matters to many lives and that the first year is never an easy one, but the reward is so great." 

The first-year teachers appearing in the film and the school where they spent their first nine months teaching are: 

  • Becky Brady, '16, taught kindergarten at Ware Elementary in Fort Riley.
  • Renee Caraballo, '16, taught fifth grade at Chapman Elementary in Chapman.
  • Caleb Roth, '16, taught seventh grade at Junction City Middle School in Junction City. 
  • Skylar Ross, '16, taught third grade at Pawnee Elementary School in Overland Park. 
  • Bridget Winter, '16, taught sixth grade at Saint Francis of Assisi in Wichita. 

"I would like to thank these first-year teachers who took on the extra work of video journaling daily and also all of the principals and superintendents who opened their doors to us for this project," Mercer said. 

Brady said after a year in the classroom she has an even greater appreciation for K-State's teacher preparation program. 

"I cannot commend my collegiate program enough for the creating the program they did," she said.

"The knowledge I gained through the courses built on researched best practices combined with my student teaching semester were second to none in my book. The faculty, many of whom have become true mentors and friends, embody the truth that relationships are the foundation of education. I am so blessed to have had the privilege of learning from them." 

Details will be forthcoming about when the documentary will be available online.