Dr. Zais Video

I want to encourage you to view this 3-part video in which Dr. Zais spoke at the State Teacher Forum Winter Conference last Friday. I was encouraged by his openness to take questions from us and by his stated commitment to involve educators in the discussion regarding merit pay. Inform yourselves on where he and our legislators stand on issues, and become an active voice for our profession. We must be bold in standing up for ourselves and our students!




Tears for a Dream Coming True

My students and I watched a fantastic historical video today about the Civil Rights Movement-as an introduction to Black History month. We talked about what we learned and how we felt about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Freedom Riders, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, the Selma-to-Montgomery March…and more. Quite a few of my students said, “That just doesn’t seem like it happened here….”

Isn’t that awesome? As a country, we aren’t perfect and still have growing to do, but “my kids” just can’t picture that other America.

I found myself shedding some sweet tears for this good stuff today! ~Lori~

Thanks Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce

A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to be a part of the Grand Marshall Float for the Kershaw County Christmas Parade!

Our Chamber of Commerce chose to honor Kershaw County educators on this year’s GM Float. Riding along with me will be our 2010 First-Year Teacher of the Year, Von Duncan; our 2010 Principal of the Year, Ginger Catoe; and my predecessor-2009 KCSD TOY/Top 5 Finalist for SC Teacher of the Year, Melody Johnson.

What an honor for the four of us! This illustrates our KCCC’s commitment to support our local schools!!

Many thanks to Liz Horton and all the great folks at the Chamber!

Thankful Again Today

Camden Middle School chose a new Teacher of the Year today-Mrs. Elizabeth Butler! I am so thrilled for Elizabeth; this is a much-deserved honor for her. She works so hard every single day and cares so deeply for her students. When it comes to teachers, she is the total package-demanding her students’ best, giving her all in every lesson taught, and offering compassion and mercy as needed. She will represent us well!

This brings me to another reason to be thankful. I am grateful to have been bestowed the honor a year ago to represent Camden Middle as the 2010 TOY. How humbling it was for me to be chosen by such a high-caliber faculty. I work with some of the brightest and best teachers in the county, and I do not take that blessing for granted. Working alongside such superior professionals every day makes me a better teacher.

For these things, today, I am thankful!! ~Lori


To start this week, I want to take a moment to share with you a few things for which I am thankful.

On this Sunday afternoon, I am most thankful to God for calling me to be a teacher. He daily reveals to me the needs of my precious students, and it is through His urging that I respond.

I am thankful for my family, who supports everything I do as a teacher. This job often does not end when the final school bell rings each day. My husband, Jeff, and my precious sons-Jordan, Graham, and Tanner-are always understanding when I am working late at school, stopping to talk with parents and students when out in public, attending meetings and conferences, coaching cheerleaders…the list goes on and on. They know that this is our life, and it has truly been a calling, of sorts, to all of my family.

Even before my husband became a teacher, he volunteered as a coach at my school. He got to know my students and considers them all as members of our extended family. He now has students of his own, so we are blessed each year with even more new members.

My sons have spent countless hours helping me grade papers, tutoring students, helping other teachers in their classrooms, working at athletic events and dances, filming basketball games, and more. They do it out of their love for me and because they see the need for volunteers in our schools and community.

Finally, I am thankful today that one of my sons is considering becoming a teacher, fully knowing all the job requires, and that my example has encouraged him to become an educator. He sees that the sacrifices are outweighed by the overwhelming and limitless rewards!!

For all these things, today, I am thankful. ~ Lori

Dear Mrs. Cooper…

Every few weeks, I ask my students to write me a quick note telling “something you think Mrs. Cooper should know”. As you can imagine, I am flooded with ALL kinds of messages-some reaching for help, some wanting to make a connection, some buttering up the teacher, and some are just, well, the random and hilarious musings of an 11-year old.

Here’s a sample for your reading pleasure:

“Did you know that my dad has 9 1/2 toes?”

“You should learn how to bungee jump.”

“There is something you need to know. This class is a lot better than I thought it would be. I thought it would be boring and dumb, but it’s not. It’s my favorite class to come to. That’s all I wanted to tell you.”

“My nose bleeds when I’m overheated.”

” I think you should know that if on Friday we had Doritos at the end of class that I would love you, but I already do.”

“Mrs. Cooper, I think you are my favorite teacher. At the end of the year, I will have a treat for you. So, don’t spoil it if you want your treat!”

See why I LOVE teaching 6th grade? ~Lori

Candidates’ Forum

The Teacher Forums of KCSD and Richland District 2 will host a Candidates’ Forum on Monday, October 25, 2010 from 6-7pm at Lugoff-Elgin High School’s Auditorium.

All candidates for SC Superintendent of Education and House District 79 have been invited to participate.

I would like to encourage everyone to attend this event. We have an opportunity, as educators, to make a mark in this year’s elections. Make sure that you vote informed!