R.K. Welsh Elementary teacher finds success in second career - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

R.K. Welsh Elementary teacher finds success in second career

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Imagine doing a job for 20 years, then deciding one day you want to be a teacher. R.K. Welsh Elementary's, Mr. Jeffrey Lash, did just that. Now, he's getting recognized in his new career, as our Teacher of the Week.

Not even a decade ago, Mr. Lash was sitting behind a desk as a social worker. But after 20 years of pushing papers, Lash says, he wanted to try something new.

"I missed the direct contact with the individuals," Lash says. "I missed seeing the progress that people could make, so as a second career, I thought I'd go into teaching."

Now, he experiences that everyday. And what's even better, he's getting his students a second time around. His fourth graders are now his fifth graders this year.

"The students knew me," he says. "They knew my bad jokes. They knew what to expect out of me. I knew their needs right away, and we were able to get started almost on day one."

The kids used writing workshops to practice good vocabulary, when I was in class. Lash says it gives the kids freedom to write about what they want. Keeping them involved in their own learning makes school exciting. But after a 20 year career, and now eight years into his second as a teacher, I asked Mr. Lash if he could imagine doing anything else.

"I could but that would require moving to Key West and kayaking all day."

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