Local Schools

Gardendale’s Own Kaycee Easley Joins Our Teacher Spotlight Series

It’s special to see one of Gardendale’s own grow up in town and graduated from Gardendale High School and stay at home to teach at Gardendale Elementary School. Kaycee Easley is giving back to the community that poured into her as she grew up.

Tell us a little about you and how you decided to become a teacher?

I am in my seventh year teaching at Gardendale Elementary School, where I have spent my entire career. I currently teach fifth grade, but for the first three years, I taught fourth grade. I grew up in Gardendale and was a member of the Rockettes Dance Line all four years of high school. After high school, I attended The University of Alabama. As a child, I always wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. During my first semester at UA, I decided to take a few nursing classes to see if that was something I could see myself doing, but I quickly realized that teaching was my true calling. I had such great relationships with not only my school teachers but also my dance teachers. I admired the teachers who poured into me as a child and always wanted to do that for others. My husband, Bobby, and I have been married for almost seven years, and we have three lovely children: Bo, who is 4, Livvy, who is 3, and Harrison, who is nine months old. We love spending time at the lake, visiting with friends, and attending Alabama football and basketball games. Roll Tide!

What is your favorite part of being a teacher?

My favorite part of being a teacher is the daily opportunity to pour into children. I find so much joy in being a small part of a child’s journey and being able to help educate them and put a smile on their face. Nothing compares to watching a child gain confidence in their abilities and seeing their face light up with pride when they learn something new.

Are there special moments where you say to yourself “this is why I teach?”

There is no better feeling than knowing you helped a child learn something new. Seeing my students progress from elementary to middle school and then to high school gives me a sense of pride in knowing I was a small part of their journey. Observing students’ academic and social growth each year and their progress as they get older and move on to bigger and better things is my “why I teach moment.”

What’s the one thing you would like people to know about teachers?

I wish everyone knew how much teachers care about their students. We are passionate about what we do and strive to create tasks and environments in the student’s best interests. We can only go so far as a single teacher, but if we work together with the parents and guardians of the students as well as other teachers and classes on our grade level, we can all achieve more than if we work on our own!

If you had one wish for something special for your classroom, what would it be?

One wish I know my students would enjoy in my classroom would be a fun lesson rug. Anything that can disrupt the monotony of sitting at a desk doing the same thing each day and can bring us closer together is always welcome. Students love getting to sit around the room and have a chance to get out of their desks. A lesson rug for our classroom would provide a fun space for my students to sit during instruction and add a sense of homeliness. It can also be a fun spot to do partner work or center work throughout the week.