CAPE ELIZABETH — A new kindergarten teacher has been hired at Pond Cove Elementary School for the 2015-2016 school year because of higher enrollment.
Kaili Gallant will start this fall in a one-year position. The first-year teacher said she was hired so there’d be a better student-to-teacher ratio.
“To keep the class sizes reasonable for young children, Cape Elizabeth decided that it would be in their students’ best interest to hire an additional kindergarten teacher,” she said. “This helps teachers give more individualized attention to each student in their class.”
Gallant, who will soon be moving to Kennebunk with her husband, recently completed the Extended Teacher Education Program through the University of Southern Maine. While in school she was a student teacher for a year and a half in South Portland, teaching kindergarten and second and fourth grades.
Prior to that, Gallant was a student teacher in Bangor. She said she was drawn to Cape Elizabeth because of its reputation for being well-rounded and supportive.
“I wanted to help grow and contribute to the strong community within Cape Elizabeth,” she said. “I knew that Cape Elizabeth would be an excellent fit for me, because I also value community support so highly.”
Gallant said she wants to develop this sense of community within her classroom.
“I want to help shape students who are excited to be in my classroom and in our school,” she said. “We will focus on growing together as caring, responsible and supportive classmates.”
As much as she wants students to feel welcome and secure in her classroom, Gallant said she knows starting school can be frightening for young students, and for their parents.
“I understand that kindergarten can be scary for children and parents, alike,” she said. “I want (parents) to know I will do anything to make their child feel safe and confident in my class.”
Gallant said she wants to create well-rounded students who can achieve academically and socially. She said she knows that different students learn in different ways and her teaching will reflect different learning styles.
She also said she supports student growth and wants to help kids prosper. She said this is what teaches students that learning is fun.
“I enjoy seeing students grasp a concept that was challenging to them before,” Gallant said. “I love seeing the look on their face when they’ve accomplished something and they are proud of themselves. I love showing students how exciting school and learning can be.”
Gallant is one of 12 new hires in town schools this year.
The first day of school for grades 1-12 in Cape Elizabeth is Tuesday, Sept. 8. At the high school, ninth-graders will start at 7:55 a.m. and grades 10-12 will start at 11 a.m. The first day of kindergarten is Friday, Sept. 11.