Katey Stocum is only in her second year of teaching first grade at Port Dickinson Elementary School, but she's a natural, thanks to her biggest inspiration. 

"My mom just retired from teaching for over 30 years. So I think she's definitely my biggest inspiration," Stocum said. "I was able to see firsthand how challenging the profession can be, but also more importantly, how rewarding it would be."

The SUNY Geneseo alumni got her start by substituting for classes while in college. Her teaching mentality has always remained the same since the beginning, always trying to build friendships with her students. 

Stocum builds those relationships with all her students by learning about their interests and ultimately incorporating those into their education. 

"Once they're able to connect their prior knowledge and experiences to what they're doing in school, and once they see that I'm somebody who's going to remember that about them, that is just going to motivate them to continue to work harder," Stocum said.

The first-grade teacher sees just that with her students, allowing these bond-building activities to better the students work while learning together. 

This teacher of the week wants the students of room 410 to never shy away from any challenges.

"It can be really challenging to learn something that's really new," Stocum said. "It can be daunting, but if they just keep remembering all of the previous successes that they've had, then that will instill the confidence in them to keep going and keep trying."