Op-Ed: A teacher talks turkey dinner. Her 3rd-graders can’t believe what they are hearing.
June 11, 2011
FARGO, N.D. — The teacher whose 4th-grade class ate turkey in class the first week of school, without permission of a principal, is facing a potential disciplinary action against her. But she says she will continue to serve the needs of her students.
The teacher’s name is Kayla Smith-Lovvorn. She goes by Kate, although her students call her Bessie in middle school, and her nickname at 4th grade seems to be Turkey. She is the first person I’ve met who is not afraid to speak out about turkey.
Smith-Lovvorn is a special education teacher and teacher at the Roseau-Eau Claire School in Fargo. She does not have her own classroom. Instead, she teaches in a classroom shared with two other teachers from a neighboring district. Her students are all in fourth grade or younger. It is not part of her district’s policy for teachers to have children in their classes.
“The students come to me every day with questions on their papers,” Smith-Lovvorn said. “If I don’t have time to write down the answers on paper, I’ll go to the board and ask the kids the answer.”
It was the first week of school, and Kayla Smith-Lovvorn’s turkey dinner was not as bountiful as the one turkey dinner her kindergarten students had every year.
“I’m trying to get away from the dinner I used to get every year with my kindergarten group,” Smith-Lovvorn said. “We did it a different way this year.”
It was the same Thanksgiving day last year that Kayla Smith-Lovvorn, her third-grade students and their teacher, met with a principal to negotiate the turkey dinner. Smith-Lovvorn and her students had not yet met a principal since they had been at the school.