First Year Teacher: Kaylee Shepard—July 2017
Kaylee Shepard (’16) serves as a second grade teacher at Calvary Baptist Academy in Midland, Michigan. She just finished her first year as a teacher, and already she has seen God work in her life through the calling of serving in a Christian school.
Kaylee knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher. When the time came to begin looking at college options, she knew she wanted two criteria—a Christian college and an accredited education program. When it came down to making her decision, Faith fit the bill. Not only did she get the two criteria she wanted, but she also found an atmosphere in which the faculty and staff cared about her and her spiritual growth.
While at Faith, Kaylee was a member of the handbell ensemble, the chorale, acted as the soccer team manager, and served as an officer for the Student Missionary Fellowship. She also stayed active in her local church through AWANA, choir, nursing home ministry, and children’s ministry. When asked what she cherished most about her time at Faith, Kaylee said,
“Being challenged in my faith by studying doctrine deepened my relationship with God. Learning that my God is not a distant storybook character. He is my God, whose amazing, unchanging character is beyond my comprehension! As corny as it sounds, God is more ‘real’ to me now.”
As Kaylee now teaches at Calvary Baptist Academy, she has taken away two truths from her education at Faith. First, she reminds herself that a good teacher is flexible, available, and teachable. Second, when talking about her students, “they do not care what you know unless they know that you care.”
To her surprise, Kaylee’s first year teaching far exceeded her expectations. “Everyone says, ‘brace yourself! First-year teaching is super hard!’ I braced myself, but never felt ‘hit.’ Sure, life gets crazy, but the fruit of the ministry is so sweet!”
Now that Kaylee has finished her first year teaching, she has embarked on a new journey—graduate school. She asks prayer as she begins this new journey, as well as for her own spiritual discipline and discipleship opportunities with her students in the upcoming school year.