Meet Kelly Prak: 2012 MTR Grad

Name: Kelly Prak 

MTR Graduation Year: 2012 

Employed at: Cornerstone Prep School 

Undergrad: Rhodes College, 2011, Religious Studies 

Hometown: Raleigh, NC 

How long have you been teaching? two years (including residency) 

Why did you initially want to be a teacher? I wanted to become a teacher when I learned about the work that the MTR is a part of to bring glory to God through fighting the injustice of the state of urban education in Memphis, the city that I fell in love with and committed myself to when I was in college. 

Did you have a particular teacher in your life that inspired you? I have had several teachers who taught me what it means to love learning, to love children, and to truly believe that an education can change your life. My fifth grade teacher, my elementary school AG teacher, and two of my high school teachers especially instilled this in me. 

What was your first day in front of a classroom like? My first day in front of a classroom went like a flash – it was overwhelming, slightly terrifying, and very exciting to meet the kids that I was committing to for an entire year. 

How has your approach changed over time? My approach has become much more consistent in my tone of voice and my expectations of my students, and therefore my expectations for myself. 

What do you expect from your students? I expect my students to be given the ability to master the education in front of them. I expect them to make mistakes but never quit trying. I expect my students to learn something new every day. 

What makes an effective teacher? An effective teacher is knowledgeable in his/her content and at planning and executing lessons that will convey that knowledge to the students. 

What makes a great teacher? A great teacher is a teacher who is effective and builds relationships with his/her students such that the classroom is a safe environment and the students embrace their future story.
What advice would you give to a brand-new teacher? Remember that you need to walk into every day with buckets of grace to pour out for you and your students. Every day.