PRYOR, OK — Pryor Times
Valarie Raymer is part of a “church-going, baseball-playing, family movie night-watching, pool-swimming, snowcone-eating, vacation-taking family.”
She brings all that enthusiasm and passion into her classroom. Raymer was chosen as Teacher of the Year for Lincoln’s Early Childhood Center where she teaches kindergarten.
“We have fun but we learn a lot. Kindergarten has changed and we do much more than we used to. I try to make it fun, but meaningful. We sing and dance and act silly sometimes, but we are learning our sight words,” said Raymer, who brags about her silly song for the sight word ‘do.’
Raymer said she is always on the lookout for new activities and ideas to bring back to her class.
Raymer who has been with Pryor Public Schools for 15 years, said it’s hard to put her teaching philosophy into words.
“It’s just what I do every day, I teach my kids. I push them to do their best. But I always comfort my kids when they come in crying because their dog ran away the night before. I feed them when they come in hungry. I clean their faces when they come in with yesterday’s dirt on them. I celebrate with them when they lose a tooth or turn a year older,” said Raymer, who isn’t shy about loving her students.
She believes the biggest issue facing Oklahoma teachers is the instability of funding.
“We all know how much the budget has decreased over the past few years, but the mandates that have been passed down are still supposed to be implemented. This leaves teachers wondering how to effectively with the resources we have available. Our students are being affected throughout the state, they are losing valuable programs in their schools and they are losing great teachers in the classroom,” said Raymer, adding that the state needs to invest in its children.
She doesn’t let budget struggles rain on her parade, however.
Raymer definitely has Tiger Spirit, having been born and raised in Pryor. She attended Lincoln Elementary School and graduated from Pryor High School.
“I am a true Pryor Tiger. I feel very fortunate to be teaching and giving back to the town I love,” said Raymer.
Raymer and her husband Geoff have two boys, Benton and Bryce, who both attend Lincoln.