Kaitlyn Vallee has always known she wanted to work with kids.

“I knew I wanted to work with kids, I knew I wanted to work with at-risk youth and it was just kind of a natural transition,” said Vallee. “I started with subbing and fell in love and went back and got my masters.”

Vallee teaches second grade at Mountain View Elementary School. She is patient, optimistic and works with each individual student to make sure their needs are met.

“We do a lot of social and emotional learning in this classroom, so they have the skills to be successful in school,” she added.

Vallee says that starts with helping students to understand their feelings and identifying them.

“A lot of these kids have very big strong feelings,” she said. “They might not necessarily have the words or the skills to deal with them.”

Building relationships are how Vallee credits her success.

“If they trust you and know they feel safe in the classroom, then they’re going to feel happy at school, they’re going to feel that they know they can be successful,” Vallee said.

Vallee grew up in the Butte, and loves teaching at Mountain View Elementary because of its diversity.

“It’s unlike anywhere else. You have kids from all over the world and not only am I teaching them but I’m learning about their culture and the things in their lives,” Vallee added.

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