Preparing the Next Generation of Educators

On the Road Collaborative is about closing educational gaps and empowering young people to fulfill their promise. This series, Profiles of Impact: Beyond the Kids, profiles the ways that On the Road makes an impact on those who make an impact on the lives of young people in our community. This profile spotlights, Ms. Katherine Montera, OTRC Team Leader & JMU College of Education student.

Katherine Montera talks to On the Road youth

Did you have one role model in middle school that really stuck out to you? That person that really knew you, understood your strengths and weaknesses, and helped you to grow and develop into the person you are now?

As an On the Road Collaborative Team Leader, I have the incredibly rewarding task of being a role model for students. It’s my job to make sure I create a bond with each and every one of them, so that years from now they’ll be saying, “My favorite teacher was Ms. Montera because….”

As a student in JMU’s College of Education, I’m learning the best ways to support children’s development academically, and socially. Being able to work with my 22 5th grade students after school allows me to grow and develop my professional skills while making an impact. My favorite part is being able to help students with their school work, and watch as that light bulb begins to flash in their minds after I explain a concept to them. I also get to connect with them and their families on a more personal level.

“Being a Team Leader for On the Road Collaborative is the most rewarding experience I’ve had in my life thus far. ​ I am gaining the support I need to grow professionally.”

Katherine Montera poses for a photo with an On the Road youth

One of the many experiences I’ll always remember was visiting one of my student’s homes. I got to see what neighborhood they live in and meet their entire family. As a future teacher, my professors always tell me home visits are one of the best ways to connect with students and their families. I can say that after a wonderful conversation, and getting pooped on by their gerbil, I am officially closer to their family.

Being a Team Leader for On the Road Collaborative is the most rewarding experience I’ve had in my life thus far. Not only am I gaining the support I need to grow professionally, I’m providing a positive environment where students can tell me how their day was, good or bad, and I’ll be there to listen. I’m there to coach them academically, and challenge them to practice our On the Road values of Perseverance, Focused Effort, Courage, Cooperation, and Kindness. I can’t wait to see where their life takes them years from now!

head shot of Katherine Montera

Ms. Katherine Montera (@kitkaterinaa) is an On the Road Collaborative Team Leader and finishing up her Senior year as an Elementary Education major at James Madison University’s College of Education.