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Making a Positive Difference:
By Mr. Kelly Sisk

What is teaching like today? Who should do it? And who shouldn't? This Education World series features essays on teaching by teachers as they answer the question, "If you had it to do all over again, would you still become a teacher?"

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I realized early in life that I might enjoy teaching, andI was fortunate enough to have some fantastic elementary school teachers who helped guide and nurture my love for learning.

I began my teaching career as a sixth grade classroom teacher in South Carolina.I remember that first year like it was yesterday.What a fantastic group of students and what wonderful colleagues!Since then, I've taughtin Department of Defense Schools in Germany, South Korea, Japan, Cuba, Panama, Greece, and in the United States. And I have never regretted becoming a teacher.In fact, I feel as though, for me, it was a professional calling, not merely a career choice.

Teaching school has brought numerous rewards to my life.The best part of my week is Monday-Fridaybetween the hours of 8:00 and 3:00 when I am working with my students. I can honestly say that the good memories of teaching far outweigh the bad.

I love my job because I know I make a positive difference in the lives of my students.

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Kelly Sisk

Mr. Kelly Sisk, a native of South Carolina, began his 29-year teaching career at Z. L. Madden Elementary School in Spartanburg, South Carolina.After teaching in South Carolina for nine years, Sisk accepted a job with the Department of Defense Overseas School System to teach fifth and sixth grades in Zweibruecken, Germany.Since then, Sisk has taught in DoDEA schools in Taegu, South Korea; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Yokosuka, Japan.Hes taught grades 1-6 as a regular classroom teacher and as a specialist in gifted education. Hes also conducted an after-school drama club for elementary students at every school hes taught in. This year, his drama students will perform the musical, Annie, Jr. Currently, Sisk lives in Bitburg, Germany, where heserves as the gifted education specialist at Bitburg American Elementary School. He received National Board Certification in 2002.

While stationed in Taegu, South Korea, Sisk became a single parent when he adopted a son.Michael, who was 22-months old with special needs when he was adopted, is now a senior at Bitburg American High School.

Children, Sisk says, are the same the world over.They are diamonds in the rough, and they deserve to have their talents and abilities polished often.

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05/16/2005