Getting to Know NP: Mrs. Catlett


Ava Cumiskey, staff writer

How long have you worked for Salt Brook?

I’ve worked at Salt Brook for about fourteen years. I started working in 2007 in a sixth grade class, then I moved down to a fifth grade class. There was a smaller population, and then I moved back up to sixth grade. I’ve been in sixth grade since then. 

What do you appreciate about the community at Salt Brook and New Providence?

I mostly appreciate the parents and their support. They have been there and are a part of everything that happens in Salt Brook. Especially the sixth grade parents because they do so much to make sure it’s such a wonderful end of the year experience for the kids. They reach out with the teachers, they provide us support with volunteering and donations in the classrooms. I just really appreciate the home-school connection. 

How can you describe your time here working in New Providence?

In some ways I’ve had an idyllic time in New Providence. I have students who I stay in touch with forever. I’ve gotten in touch with students who graduated college and even some that are now teachers. We email back and forth and share lesson plans, which is exciting. Being in touch it’s just wonderful seeing students grow and seeing them bigger and taller and to read about them in the newspaper, what they’re doing in sports, or if they are in plays and the band. It’s so fun to see these kids who were in sixth grade launch and hear about what colleges they’re going to or what locations they’re going to. Knowing that there will be these wonderful, vibrant, upstanding members of our future. 

What’s different about Salt Book when you first started teaching here versus today?

The biggest change is the use of technology. This change is good but also hard for the teachers. It can be frustrating. I read somewhere that you tend to recognize people’s handwriting before their faces. Handwriting actually stays in your memory. Sometimes I will see students and connect with them with their handwriting. Once I see their handwriting in my mind, I can see the stories they actually wrote. But now that everything is typed, it always looks so similar. The rigor and curriculum is also much higher. Hearing the stories and seeing the stories in handwriting was something that my brain just held on to more easily. 

What impact have you had on Salt Brook?

I would hope my impact on Salt Brook, especially as a sixth grade teacher, is that the students leave sixth grade thinking back on their years. We spend the rest of the year really reflecting on our time and our life as learners and our friendships that we’ve developed over this time period. So I hope that when you leave here you’re confident and ready to tackle the curriculum goals in your future, and know you made friendships with your classmates that will last a lifetime.