Cornbread and Issues

Last week, I was delighted to help host KCSD Teacher Forum’s Cornbread and Issues.  This annual event serves as a time for representatives from our state delegation to answer questions about education.  I found our representatives to be thoughtful and knowledgeable.  Not only do they care about our district; all struck me as true advocates for public education.  I’m sure I speak for everyone in Teacher Forum when I say how appreciative I am for these people to take time out of their busy schedules to show support for Kershaw County educators.   Thank you.

School Board Appreciation

Tonight, the Kershaw County Teacher Forum hosted an appreciation celebration for the Kershaw County School Board.  This was an opportunity for both teachers and school board members to get to know one another over coffee and desserts.  

What struck me most about this evening is how much our school board members genuinely care about the children of this community.  Many of them are products of these schools.  Even more have children who attend these schools.  One school board member even mentioned that he, his children and now his grandchildren are products of Kershaw County schools.  Wow!

As someone not from this area, I can honestly say how touched I was by this evening and am so happy I had the opportunity to be a part of it.   Furthermore, I am reminded of how thankful I am to be a part of this wonderful county and community. 

Lights of Lugoff

Lights of Lugoff

I realized that I never blogged in December and therefore never mentioned my wonderful experience at the Lights of Lugoff parade. Thanks to Billy Smith for driving me around in his beautiful red corvette. And thanks to all the fantastic folks of Kershaw County who made me feel like a movie star with their cheers and shouts of love and thanks.

Making Commitments in 2013

Like many people, I often make resolutions at the beginning of each new year.  One year, I resolved to lose weight; another year I resolved to hand-write a letter to a loved one each week; there was even one year where I resolved to cut down on my consumption of sweets (that resolution did not last long).  What I’m trying to say is that, most of the resolutions we make fall by the wayside within a few months.  So why make resolutions at all?

This year, I do not have any resolutions.   Instead, I am making a commitment to myself.  In the year 2013, I commit myself to being the best teacher possible.  You might say that this is something I should commit myself to regardless of any new year.  And it’s true: daily, I strive to be a great teacher.  However, there are days where I allow other stresses to overtake my responsibilities as a teacher.  For the past several months, especially, I have been somewhat overwhelmed with my many responsibilities as a teacher leader.  Because of this, I have sometimes not managed my time wisely and, in turn, have not always been the best teacher I can be.   This is not to say that I am ungrateful for the opportunity to represent the teachers of my school and of Kershaw County; indeed, these months have included the highlights of my professional career.  However, in trying to be an exceptional teacher for other teachers, I have sometimes not been the best teacher I know I can be within the walls of my classroom.

It’s difficult for me to admit this.  However, I think that admitting it is the first step toward bettering myself as a teacher.   So, in 2013, I make a commitment not only to myself and to my students, but also to all of you: 2013 is the year that I will be a better teacher than I have ever been.

Thankful Teacher

As the long Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close, I find myself thinking about all the things for which I’m thankful.  Of course there’s my family and friends; a roof over my head; and food on my table each night (well, sometimes it’s in the car on the way home, but it’s food in my belly nevertheless!), just to name a few.   But there’s something else for which I’m incredibly thankful: my job.

I’m not just thankful for my job because it pays the bills and provides some of the other things mentioned above for which I’m thankful.  I’m thankful for my job because I love my job.  I get excited about coming to work each day, wondering what learning experiences await me.  In short, I am a thankful teacher!  And I’m especially thankful that I get to go back to work tomorrow to see all my intellectually inquisitive students — I’ve missed them! 

Midlands Teacher of the Tear Forum

On Tuesday, October 16th, I had the honor of attending the Midlands Teacher of the Year Forum in Lexington.  Helen Walker (2011-2012 KCSD TOY and 2012-2013 SC Honor Roll Teacher extraordinaire)  accompanied me to this very special event to celebrate teachers and their commitment to public education.  I met DTOYs (both past and present) from all over the Midlands and was delighted to spend the day in fellowship with positive and encouraging conversation about our profession.

Special thanks to 2012-2013 SC TOY Amy McAllister Skinner and CERRA Program Director Jason Fulmer for organizing and hosting such a fantastic event.  Not only do I feel rejuvenated, but I already can’t wait to be reunited with all of these wonderful educators at our state-wide retreat in February!


 With Helen Walker at the Midlands DTOY Forum

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

WOW!  Time sure does fly when you’re having fun!  It’s been a whirlwind month of teaching new classes, meeting new students, learning new names and figuring out new technology.  The first weeks of the school year are always my favorite and this month has been no exception.  Thanks to all you hard-working teachers, students, parents and administrators for making it a successful school year thus far.

Quote-collecting is a hobby of mine (must be the English teacher in me), so I’ll leave you with a quote by Lebanese-American poet Khalil Gibran:

The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind. 

What a wonderful way to think about our profession!  We are not here to simply teach what we know; we are here to guide students to that threshold so that they may open their minds to discovery and learning.