Page School Center teacher finds her calling in kindergarten

Published 1:27 pm Monday, January 16, 2023

JORDAN BROOKS

jordan.brooks@middlesboronews.com

One Page School Center kindergarten teacher has proven to be compassionate and caring for all of her students, and teaches with all of her students best interest in mind. Ashley Maguet believes success is found in trying many different things, and has found strength in teamwork and her adaptability.

“I work alongside Brooke Sanders, the other kindergarten teacher in our school and we have just formed a duo in our school, really, that has just tried to figure out the best ways to help our kids,” said Maguet. “We try to be very entertaining and we try to really focus on our kids’ needs and the areas that need focus that they’re struggling with,” said Maguet. “We’ve found what works best for us with the curriculum.”

Maguet views Sanders and herself as a team, where she teaches reading, Sanders compliments her with teaching math. According to Mauguet, when the two teachers get their rosters at the beginning of the year they first try to figure out what kids need and how to make education engaging for young minds.

Maguet earned her undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology and realized it wasn’t her calling.

“I actually started out in the speech path[ology] program, and ended up changing over to elementary education. I think once I did, once I got into the speech path program it just wasn’t what I was thinking it was going to be,” said Maguet. “I really wanted to be more involved with the kids, and in the classroom is where I truly wanted to be.”

Maguet then went on to LMU to get her masters in teaching, and has been teaching kindergarten for 10 years.

“I never truly found fulfillment until I entered that little kindergarten classroom,” said Maguet.

In 2020, Maguet was a recipient of Campbellsville University’s Teaching in Excellence award that recognizes teachers in 76 school districts statewide.

The transition to online learning during the pandemic put Maguet’s teaching skills to the test. Holding the attention of 5- and 6-year-olds in a virtual classroom was a challenge for multiple reasons, and adapting quickly was the only option.

“We had to be even more entertaining, because we were trying to teach them on a screen for all of that time,” said Maguet. “Still trying to get them to learn what they needed to learn and still trying to do the best we could to make it as fun for them as possible.”

“During that time we would definitely have to encourage each other to just keep up the good work and fight the hard fight,” she said. “Since there were no kids in the building, and we were there, masked, behind a computer screen trying to figure out how we can make these table-top exercises and this hands-on curriculum carry over through the computer screen.”

In kindergarten, where the curriculum is mostly based on touch and play, and this was a difficult hurdle to get around during the pandemic. Maguet believes she and the other teachers and staff at Page grew and learned as educators and mentors during the pandemic.

“Once I started student teaching and was in the classroom and saw what teachers did, I was reminded of the teachers that I had when I was growing up and the things that they did that made them so memorable,” said Maguet.

Maguet’s classes have some of the highest achieving scores in the Bell County district when they were reported. Kindergarten students are also tested 3 times in the school year, once in the fall, once in the winter, and once in the spring. Like most modern standardized testing, the tests are administered on a computer and meant to be a combination of everything that they’ve learned in the classroom.

“It is challenging… Some of them have never held a mouse before, or really seen a keyboard,” said Maguet. “We have a lot of kids that’ll try to swipe up on the computer screen because they’re used to an iPad, so we have to start from scratch there.”

Maguet says finding a combination of different ways to teach the curriculum has been proven to be the most effective way to teach, even if that means wearing silly outfits or singing songs to keep her kids engaged and involved as possible. For her classes, this ensures that they’re listening and retaining the information, as well as getting the most out of their school day.

“Page is a wonderful school and our administration is wonderful and our staff is wonderful and we all just came together as a family and work together, and if our administration feels like we need help with anything they’re always willing to help us,” said Maguet.

“If we need anything from each other we always try and step in and help each other. It’s definitely a team effort, we all help to make each other better.