Nikki Franklin, Jackson Via Elementary
Nikki Franklin, Kindergarten Teacher, Jackson Via Elementary School
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
My most amazing task is meeting standards (local/state/federal), while still maintaining high expectations, cultivating a nurturing yet individualized classroom and helping students develop a lifelong love of learning.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
To the casual observer this may seem like an effortless job. Yet, I analyze student performance and address specific learning needs daily, hourly, and minute-to-minute.  My decisions directly impact students’ preparedness for future learning experiences.  I serve as a role model, mediator, tutor, cheerleader and sometimes counselor.  I enjoy my job, so difficulties aren’t always apparent.  Few recognize the finely honed skills that are required in the classroom.
Where do you see the teaching field in 5 years?
The outlook is positive.  As long as all dialog is focused on student success, the future of education is secure.
What outside experience prepared you best to become a teacher?
I’ve been a teacher since I was a young girl.  As the eldest, my performance was the household benchmark.  I helped siblings meet performance goals as their “Big Sister.”  I helped with homework, re-taught skills that I had mastered and provided encouragement.  The challenge was to ensure my siblings’ academic success. Being a “Big Sister” prepared me for teaching.