When Kayla Fulmer was a little girl, she always told people she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “That was always my response.”
Fulmer is in her second year of teaching kindergarten at South Conway Elementary School.
The Conway native finished her master’s degree at Coastal Carolina University in December 2018 and immediately went into the field. Fulmer grew up attending Horry County schools and dreamed of teaching in this community.
“I benefited from the great teachers in Horry County while I was growing up,” Fulmer said. “I knew it was where I wanted to be. I wanted to give back.”
Fulmer’s third grade teacher Jane Freeman had a big impact and is one of the reasons Fulmer wanted to teach elementary school.
“Little people are my favorite,” Fulmer said. “I love kindergarten. I love the babies. They just soak up everything. It’s amazing how fast they grow.”
Fulmer’s favorite lessons are hands-on activities.
“I love teaching about real life experiences and doing experiments and projects,” the teacher said.
Fulmer makes time to read for fun every day in her classroom, even if it’s just five extra minutes at the beginning or end of the day.
“I really try to instill a love for reading in [my students] and show them how fun reading can be,” she said.
Between lessons, Fulmer uses Go Noodle brain break videos to keep kids moving and energized.
“They’re little random dance parties,” Fulmer said.
One of Fulmer’s favorite things about teaching is watching her students succeed. She loves seeing them go from “I can’t do it” to “Look at what I just did all by myself.”
Fulmer’s class has upcoming field trips planned to Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and to Conway High School to see their production of “Seussical the Musical.”
Students will exchange Valentine’s cards this Friday and will decorate mailboxes for card delivery.
“We’ll be talking about love all week,” Fulmer said.
There are 24 students in Fulmer’s current class and the teacher makes an effort to let each individual know that they are noticed and loved.
“We start each day with a hug, handshake or high five when they come in the door,” Fulmer said. “I always tell my kids, ‘You’re loved. You’re cherished. You matter.’ Every day, we leave with an ‘I love you,’ a goodbye and a hug.”
Fulmer loves seeing her first year students in the hallways, and they often rush up to give her hugs.
“They definitely know that they are loved,” she said.
Fulmer is not married and does not have kids of her own, so she really feels like her students are her kids.
“My kids are my life,” she said.
Fulmer offers tutoring after school two days a week.
Outside of school, Fulmer attends The Rock Church and enjoys working out at ISI Elite Training. She loves to read and go to the beach, her “happy place.”
Fulmer’s family is in the Conway area and she enjoys spending time with them.
“My whole family is close,” she said. “We’re a tight-knit group.”
Fulmer has a small business called Just Jane Designs, featuring hand lettered prints, stickers and t-shirts.
“I’ve always been super crafty,” Fulmer said. “All the designs are my handwriting. I’ve always been a doodler.”
There are currently around 15 designs in Fulmer’s collection, with several South Carolina and Conway-themed prints. See Fulmer’s designs on her website,
Fulmer thanks Sparks Toyota, My Horry News and those who nominated and voted for her.
“My kids are so excited,” she said.
Teacher of the Month is sponsored by Sparks Toyota. Nominate your favorite teachers online at myhorrynews.com/contests.