PRYOR, OK —
Audra Peters is a special education teacher with Pryor Public Schools and is the Teacher of the Year for Roosevelt Elementary School.
She believes that education is a unique experience for every student who enters a classroom.
“I believe that every teacher should have a respectful and honest rapport with their students. My classroom has an open door policy,” said Peters. “My students know that I am here if they need help with an assignment or if they need to just talk.”
Peters said often students have little to no confidence, so little victories are huge celebrations.
Peters received both a bachelor of science in special education and a master of education in reading both from Northeastern State University. She is a member of the Professional Oklahoma Educators Association, International Reading Association and Alpha Chi Honor Society in addition to being a member of Locust Grove Freewill Baptist Church.
Peters grew up in Indiana dreaming of being a storm chaser.
“Growing up I never wanted to be a teacher. I always wanted to be a storm chaser or a meteorologist. It wasn't until middle school when I was a peer buddy for severely handicapped students that the 'teaching bug' was put in my ear,” said Peters. “I was told I had a real gift with these students and that I would be an excellent teacher some day.”
The Indiana native said she thinks the lack of support from legislators and lack of funding are the primary issues teachers face.
“Lack of parental support is also increasing, making our jobs harder,” said Peters. “The amount of pressure put on all students taking tests is unhealthy, everything is becoming about passing the test.”
Peters believes in utilizing different technologies in her classroom
“Using an iPad in my classroom has allowed a student, who did not know his ABCs, gain access to programs that helped supplement my instruction. This year I set up Skype for one of my students to use while being ill for several months. By thinking outside of the box, this allowed him to continually participate in the class as if he were still there,” said Peters, who adds that technology is useful for educators to differentiate instruction in their classroom.