Reading with Rebecca Reed

Savannah Chastain
Rebecca Reed spent her middle and high school years in Okaloosa County and said that being back in Destin she feels at home.

“Hop on in,” and “You’re Frog-tastic,” read some of the signs in Rebecca Reed’s new first grade room. Her friendly frog theme is just one of the fun aspects of her mobile unit turned classroom, as the underlying theme is truly reading.

“Reading is my favorite subject to teach,” said Reed. “This is the age they are learning to read, and later they will be reading to learn, so it’s really important to their school career.”

To emphasize the theme, a reading library is set up in one section of the room complete with labeled book bins, bean-bags and big comfy chairs.

“I’m always buying books,” said Reed of her large book collection. “You can never have too many books.”

Reed told The Log that with every new school year, she introduces her students to the children’s book series, ‘Junie B. Jones,’ by author Barbara Park. 

“I do a lot of read-alouds,” she said. “They love stories, so finding books that connect to their interest levels is always important.”

Jones, who has been teaching for 10 years, said that although she has always taught first grade professionally, she didn’t initially realize her love for the age group.

“Really when I went to college I geared my lessons for third through fifth grade,” she said. “But for my internship I was placed in first grade and I loved it because everybody makes such tremendous growth in first grade, it’s just really neat to see.”

As one of 10 first-grade teachers at Destin Elementary School this year, Reed said she already feels a part of the team.

“First grade chair, Hilary Ray gave us all t-shirts that say, ‘Keep Calm because first grade rocks!’” Reed said motioning to her bright pink top. “Everyone is really nice here, I just love the community of Destin as a whole and I feel like I’m at home here,” she said.