by Amanda Nelson
University of Kentucky College of Education student Lindsay Lash recently completed what she calls the most beneficial semester of her college career – student teaching at Athens-Chilesburg Elementary in Lexington.
However, Lash’s first couple years at UK were difficult. She has a moderate-to-severe hearing impairment that has been the source of many struggles throughout her life. While she now benefits from wearing hearing aids and support from her professors and mentors, she hasn’t always been so open to receiving help. At first she was homesick, having difficulty hearing in lecture halls and struggling to manage time between classes and hours of training as a member of the UK swim team.
“Even though the first two years were a tremendous struggle for me, I am a much stronger person today,” Lash said. “One of my coaches on the UK Swim Team, Margo Greeman, never gave up on me. She knew I was struggling, and she helped me along the way. This taught me so much because I realized how much one person could truly impact another’s life. As a future teacher, I could truly impact a student’s life, and I hope I do.”
Currently impacting Lash’s life is her supervising teacher at Athens Chilesburg, Marshall Spivey.
“Every single one of his students is participating at all times,” Lash said of her mentor. “If he loses one’s focus, he draws the student back into the lesson immediately. He is aware of what is going on around him at all times as he is teaching a lesson. The students are aware of their expectations and the consequences if those expectations are not met. One thing I respect about Mr. Spivey is he treats every student equally, while at the same time he is aware of every student’s individual needs.”
Lash said courses at UK have stressed the importance of implementing technology into daily lessons and she has witnessed the effects of this during her student-teaching placement.
“Lately we have been giving assignments to “ischool” which students can access at home on their own devices. The students have also recently been given permission to bring their own electronic devices to school to use for educational purposes. For example, the students are reading several different plays that relate to their unit on the Civil War. Instead of printing a 20-page play for every student, we have uploaded the plays on ischool so the students can log onto their accounts and access the material electronically. Not only is this saving paper, but it is engaging the students.”
The Columbus, Ohio native will graduate in May with a degree in elementary education and says she wants to prove to students they can do anything regardless of what set-backs there may be.
“I want to lead as a very positive example for my students,” she said. “My dream is to eventually get my masters in deaf education and teach deaf or hearing impaired students.”
To learn more about the UK College of Education’s Elementary Education program, visit