A Q&A with ATPE’s 2019 Secondary Educator of the Year

ATPE member Katrina King was named Secondary Educator of the Year at the 2019 ATPE Summit in Houston. She shared how her experiences in nursing motivated her to become an educator and her advice for those just entering the profession.
An ATPE member for five years, King is the department chair and health science instructor for Willis ISD. She has been with the district for five years and the department chair for one year.
What made you want to be an educator?
I wanted to become an educator because, as a former director of nursing, I realized how much time I needed to spend on educating my staff. This encouraged me to pursue educating students who want to enter the health care field. I want my students to understand the fundamentals so they can adapt it to each patient.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is watching the light bulb go off in my students’ heads when they’re in the clinical setting and they can apply the fundamentals to the patients. When you see they have mastered the skills and can practice with compassion, those are the moments I know true learning has occurred. It’s great to see each student reach this accomplishment.  
What advice would you give to a new educator coming into your position?
Every student is different. Continue to try and experiment new strategies to facilitate learning. Don’t let yourself get discouraged when things don’t work perfectly. Teachers have a learning curve as well, and while teaching, you will continue to learn how best to help your students.
Not an ATPE member? Join the state’s largest community of educators today.
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