Kindergarten inspirer, paperback writer
Palmer-Stone teacher now a published author
Krishna Williams, teacher at Palmer- Stone Elementary School, left Michigan for Georgia so she could teach kindergarten.
She said teacher demographics in her home state don’t leave much room for new graduates to squeeze into the system, so she moved to the South where jobs in education are plentiful.
Through www. teachgeorgia. com she found two openings in the Newton County School System for a kindergarten teacher, which she wanted to be.
“ They’re just so much fun and they’re so excited about learning,” Williams said. “ Kindergarteners are also very free and don’t really think of what others think yet.”
As a child, Williams wanted to be a pediatrician until she began to research the profession as a junior in high school.
“ When I thought about it,” Williams said, “ I only had one pediatrician growing up, and he was nice, but he wasn’t someone I looked up to.”
Since she vividly remembered her favorite teachers from childhood, she set out to become an educator, who countless students would have their first school experiences with in kindergarten.
“ I try to get them to realize learning is so important and you don’t have to only learn at school — you can learn anywhere,” Williams said.
A large part of her work on her master’s degree stemmed from the idea of “ habits of mind,” which if students master will help them all through school in every subject. The habits are persistence, selfcontrol and checking for accuracy.
Williams’ classroom has a “ Race to Success” wall which records students’ progress toward learning the 300 sight words they must be able to identify by the end of their kindergarten year.
Students receive prizes
The love of teaching: such as candy, small toys or books for completing sets of 25 and receive one of each prize when they reach the finish line.
“ Since it’s a race, everybody wants to participate,” Williams said.
She said by making a big to- do when someone’s car is moved, the students learn to celebrate other’s successes.
However, teaching five and six- year- olds does present its challenges.
Many times Williams’ students have never been in a school environment.
“ Sometimes it’s challenging because they have so much energy and I have to keep up and channel their energy and get them all to focus on one thing,” Williams said.
Williams’ favorite part of teaching kindergarteners is watching them learn to read.
“ They’ll come in some mornings and say ‘ we were driving down the road and we saw a sign that said play — do you remember when you taught us that word,’” Williams said.
She said she tries to explain to her students how reading can take you on an adventure and how writing is a way to take others on an adventure.
Williams said she has always been a writer.
“All the time when I was little I would carry a journal or a book,” Williams said.
While in college, Williams began organizing her thoughts and realized most of her negative feelings stemmed from the impact of not growing up with a father figure in her life.
Last fall, she put her journal entries into novel form and published “ The Love of the Father” through AuthorHouse publishing. The book is available through the Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Target Web sites.
However, receiving royalty checks has not been the most rewarding part of publishing the book.
Williams said teachers often do not have much of a dialogue with teachers outside of their grade level, but the book has started conversations between teachers who normally wouldn’t chat.
She said because of the emotional nature of the book she has gotten to know several teachers very well.
Even though Williams is now a published author, she said she wants to continue to teach for a long while.
“ I love teaching,” Williams said, “ but I’d like to teach and travel in the summer and talk to young people about following their goals.”
Krishna Williams, kindergarten teacher at Palmer- Stone Elementary, had her book “ The Love of the Father” published in October of 2007.