Kelly Carmody

Middle School Teacher

Choosing a career was easy for me — I’ve never wanted to do anything but teach. I’d sometimes pretend to be a teacher when I was a kid, knowing I wanted to be a “helper” someday. To me, sharing knowledge with others sounded like the perfect way to serve my community.  

My plans were no secret to my friends and family, so no one was surprised when my dream became reality. I now teach three electives to sixth graders at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Manhattan: Writing Across the Curriculum, Sixth Grade Success and STEM. I love that I get to teach every sixth grader in the school and have the freedom to be creative with my curriculum. 

What did surprise some people was the fact that becoming a teacher would make me a lifelong student as well. After high school, I completed the requirements for a teaching license and then some. Ultimately, I ended up with four degrees: bachelor’s degrees in women’s studies and social sciences from Kansas State University, a master’s degree in education from Pacific University in Oregon and a second master’s in special education from K-State. But I’m still not done learning — Kansas teachers need to complete continuing education requirements every other year to renew their license, and I like to take advantage of a lot of professional development opportunities each summer to keep my ideas and classes fresh. I want to be the best educator I can be!

As part of that goal, I’d love to create a middle school career development class. My hope is to get younger students thinking about their futures and the many options — that may or may not involve college — that are out there. I didn’t have the benefit of hands-on career readiness classes before graduating, and I now realize how valuable they are. 

If you think you might want to teach someday, my advice to you is to seek out as many career exploration opportunities as possible. Ask to shadow or help teachers in a variety of subjects and age levels, and study hard after high school. When you’re finally in front of your own class, be yourself and teach to the best of your ability — kids need good educators and they’re counting on you!