Debbie Kuttig Puts Her Students In the Story

Reported by: Joe Legge
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Updated: 8/13/2012 5:04 pm
You might say Debbie Kuttig's on her second tour of duty in the classroom.

After teaching for five-years, Kuttig left the profession for the corporate world.  But, eight-years ago, she realized she should be worrying about futures and not finances.  "I felt the need once again in my life to feel like I was making some kind of positive impact on somebody's life and I had lost that very much in what I was doing before."

Kuttig now teaches 6th and 8th grade English, with a passion for books that rubs off on her students.  6th grader Andy Reed says "she gives you ways to read it that makes the book interesting instead of like you're looking at a page with a whole bunch of letters on it."  Zoie Franklin says "she makes us pay attention because she makes learning fun."

Kuttig keeps her reading discussions animated.  "And they would bow all the way over like this and touch their foreheads to the ground 3 times," she says while trying to explain ancient Chinese culture.  These descriptive movements help students relate to the time period and social circumstances of the characters they read about.

"All I as a teacher can hope for is to present good books to them, and show them the value in reading and hope that they will become better and better readers and enjoy it more," says Kuttig.  Student Sophia Varnell says Kuttig "always tries to get us involved with what she's doing."

Kuttig hopes the open dialog exposes her class to different ideas... and leaves them with a lifetime of memories about their first experiences with Huck Finn, Xing Xing, and other literary legends.

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