After traveling through the state and helping teachers, Kelly Batts is ready to settle down in Clinton.
The Duplin County native recently joined Clinton City Schools (CCS) to become a beginning teachers coordinator and instructional coach for Sampson Middle School. Her new role includes supporting new teachers with their growth. At the middle school she’ll help teachers with planning and curriculum.
“I’ve already hit the ground running,” Batts said about preparing for matters such as orientations for beginning teachers.
Although Batts is new to CCS, she’s no stranger to assisting teachers. She enjoys experiencing the new energy shown by educators.
“They’re really excited about starting their career journey,” Batts said. “That’s my favorite part about it. The instructional coach road is helping the teachers make learning fun and engaging for kids.”
As many students graduate from colleges and universities to enter the teaching profession, Batts believes her role is necessary because of the overwhelming amount of curriculum expertise required. There’s also a lot of requirements from the state in terms of a support program that the district has to provide.
“They go to college and they receive a lot of training and receive a lot of content knowledge,” she said. “But they have not had the opportunity to lead a classroom from start to finish.”
Some of that work may include setting up routines, dealing with unruly students or other children not understanding the curriculum.
“Those are the kinds of things you learn on the job,” she said. “You can have some professional development in it, but it’s not until the kids actually get in front of you that you learn those things. That’s a challenge.”
Batts has close to 20 years of experience in education. Prior to CCS, Batts worked for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI), working as an instructional coach in the eastern region. She worked under the Race to the Top program, which is designed to promote educational innovation and reform in the United States. Her other stops include similar roles in New Hanover and Pender counties.
“I want to do the best I can for students and teachers in Clinton City Schools,” Batts said about her new role of helping local educators.
While working for the state, she was required to travel to different counties and is ready to dedicate her time to a single school system.
“That’s exciting to me,” she said. “I will say, not having knowledge of Clinton City School, my first interaction with staff has been nothing but positive.”
Coming from a family of educators in the town of Beulaville, Batts attended the University of North Carolina-Wilmington , where she earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in education and leadership related fields. Batts also has add-on licensure from the university. She currently resides in Wilmington with her husband Chuck Batts and together they have three children, Brooke, 12; Jack, 10; and Klaire, 15 months.
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