Teacher uses recreation for math lessons

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August 27, 2014 - 12:00 AM

As young children we carefully watch our parents’ actions. Monkey see, monkey do.
When Aubrey Creitz was a child growing up in Erie she knew she would follow her mother Shaila’s footsteps into education.
“I enjoyed watching her teach and always dreamed of doing it, too,” Creitz said.
Creitz is a new fifth grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School.
For many years her mother was a fifth grade teacher at Erie Elementary School. She now is the district librarian. Her brother Daniel followed in their father’s career path by becoming an attorney. Their father is Judge Daniel Creitz of the 31st Judicial District.
Creitz has family from Iola and that’s what first encouraged her to apply for a fifth grade teaching position here. Her grandfather is the late Dale P. Creitz, longtime band and symphony director as well as director of the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.
“I loved the town of Iola and it had a really good history of being a great school district,” she said. “I want to show the community what else we as a family can do.”
Her high school math teacher, Kelci Botts, encouraged her to pursue mathematics in college.
“She taught me about how you have to go above and beyond for your students,” Creitz said. “Mrs. Botts also helped me fall in love with math. I hope to instill these things in my students just like she did for me.”
Creitz graduated from Pittsburg State University last December and started substitute teaching in the Chanute and Erie school districts.
“I hope in my first year here I will be able to make an impact on my kids to work hard,” she said. “I’m also hoping I can get rid of that mindset that they hate math.”
Integrating games into the classroom is a way Creitz hopes to get the students excited.
“We played this game called ‘Beat the Teach’,” she said. “They were so interested in the game they didn’t realize they were using math.”
Keeping updated on teaching methods is very important to Creitz.
“Five years from now I hope to make a mark on the curriculum team and establish a role in the district,” she said. “I want to be that teacher that goes above and beyond the classroom and possibly be working on my master’s degree.”

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