ExCEL award winner gets through to students by ‘teaching the whole child’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Did you ever have a teacher you loved so much, you wished they could teach you another year?

Mrs. Ashley Pearson is a 4th grade teacher at Okolona Elementary, and her students now were also her students last year. She moved up with them. When it works, it works! And Mrs. Pearson says she’s not just focusing on the lesson plan. She’s helping her students become the best possible community members.

“I think it’s so important that people realize that teachers aren’t just teaching math, reading and writing. It’s the whole child.  I am a nurse every day. I am a counselor. Sometimes they even call me mom. But I am teaching the whole child. My philosophy is if I can let them come into the class as one person and then they leave as a better person by the time our school year is over, then I’ve done my job,” Pearson said.

Mrs. Ashley Pearson, a former JCPS student herself, shows passion for bettering her students’ lives daily. From her morning routines to her ideology that every student is one of her children. Her impact on this group of students is so clear to see.

“I can’t get to their brain until I get to their heart. So, if I don’t have this first, they’re not going to listen to me. They don’t respect me. They’re not going to listen to me. If they have something traumatic going on at home, that’s where their head is going to be. But if can get it off their chest in the morning, maybe I can get through to their brain a little bit. That’s where we’re going to see that growth,” Pearson said.

Her school came together Wednesday afternoon to acknowledge her success by honoring her with several awards, including the WHAS11 and LG&E KU ExCEL award.

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