Make Me Proud: Pamlico Co teachers take on big responsibility

PAMLICO COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Our school systems are hard at work to keep our kids happy, healthy, and well cared for, but we have all seen the stories of teacher shortages sending districts into a scramble to cover the school year.

In Pamlico County, a group of teachers’ assistants have stepped up to the plate taking on the head position and keeping the classrooms on track.

“When we went in before, last year, it was already out. It was already planned for us and I didn’t have to worry about planning anything, but now I have to think about planning everything, not for just one but for several, because they all have different goals,” said Carla Anderson who teaches at the high school level. “I have to make that transition easy for all of them in my classroom.”

Six of those teachers got together with Maddie Kerth to talk about the transition and how their students are handling the new year for ENC at Three’s Make Me Proud segment.

For the county’s youngest students, transitioning is a big task for teachers.

“A lot of these students are just happy to get back in school and to be around other children which is awesome,” said pre-K teacher Christina Wooten. “They need that social aspect to be able to grow.”

That socialization brings excitement in Tiffaney Greene’s kindergarten classroom.

“They are so very excited about being around other children,” said Greene. “To see their pre-K friends, it’s just the excitement everyday!”

Thankfully that excitement fuels Cecy Spivey’s drive to show up for her kids. She has students as young as 3-years-old.

“It is a lot of different personalities! They are just coming here and they don’t know how to interact to other students, with other children,” said Spivey. “My assistant and I are helping them to interact.”

The little students are learning these interactions, but Jennifer Lackey’s middle schoolers need to be reminded after the pandemic disrupted their routines.

“You’re teaching them the rules all over again,” said Lackey, “and spending time with each other, they’re not used to that.”

Also at the middle school is Jennifer Hacker. She says it’s structure that is helping the most.

“I think it’s actually helping out a lot, them being back in school,” said Hacker. “Going back to the normal, I guess you could say.”

Henry Rice, the district’s executive director of administrative services, says there are even more teachers’ assistants that are in the process of getting their own classrooms as well. He says it’s always better when they can ‘grow their own.’

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