Spotlight: Kristie Sparks, Carroll Elementary

Ms. Sparks – Sheldon ISD

In 2004 I started as a Special Education Teacher’s Aide for the Houston Independent School District, where I found my calling and fell in love with teaching. I completed my education degree while working full time at Herrera Elementary. In May of 2008 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education EC-4th grade and taught as a first-grade teacher at Coop Elementary. The next school year I was asked with my prior experience if I wanted to work in the Special Education Life Skills classroom, and I accepted the position and never looked back! I became certified in 2010 as a Special Education Pk-12 Teacher, but I have only taught at the elementary level. I worked for Houston I.S.D. for a total of 16 wonderful years. I worked at four terrific elementary schools, Herrera Elementary, Coop Elementary, Poe Elementary and Northline Elementary. As a child I attended Northline Elementary, so it meant so much to me get to teach at my favorite school where I was once a student. I loved giving back to my community and seeing some of my old classmates from the neighborhood whose children were now attending the school. I have taught for the last three years for the Sheldon Independent School District at Carroll Elementary in the Special Education Life Skills/Autism classroom. My second year at Carroll Elementary I won a grant to create a STEM center in my classroom. With the grant money I was able to buy robots and programming tools for my students, since we are a STEM school. They were always discussing the robots and programming they were learning from our STEM teacher, so I felt we should have it available for them to learn and discover in more depth in our class. I have a total of 19 years of teaching but honestly it feels like I am just getting started. I can’t wait to see what more teaching has in place for me in the coming months and years. I love my students, staff and principal and with their support I am always looking for ways to make my classroom a better learning environment. The grants I obtain allow me to create a more calming and comfortable sensory stimulating classroom for my students with Autism, I want to have a technology center with new devices and computers to use for curriculum apps and leisure time, and outside equipment for my students who are wheelchair bound. My current goal is to go back to school and earn more of an administrative role, so that I can be an advocate for the Special Education population. As I mentioned earlier, I found my calling and I absolutely love it and I can’t wait for my next school year!