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Interview: Teachers are in a position to influence our future leaders

We know teachers spend a lot of their personal time and money on their students. In fact, on average, teachers spend up to $500 and 200 hours each year.

With World Teacher Appreciation Day 5th Oct (an UNECSO initiative) we wanted to highlight teacher’s hard work and give something back to them. We asked teachers to upload a picture of what they would like to spend more time doing. Six of the contributors received a $250 Amazon gift vouchers and one of those got an additional $1000 gift voucher  as well as one year of free DigiExam for their school.

kim2A 7th grade mathematics teacher Kimberly Morrow from Rhea Middle School received the grand prize with the following motivation: ”I would spend more time focusing on my baking skills. Heavens knows I could use a little practice! (By the way, these are my peanut butter cookies. My son tried to eat one, but he said it ruined his milk)”.

We had the pleasure to have a brief talk with Kimberly about coming back to school after the summer break. She mentioned that her biggest challenge returning to school is maintaining balance between her personal and professional responsibilities. Quite often the lines are blurred, and she ends up devoting quite a bit of personal time creating engaging math centers and researching alternative teaching methods so that her students are actively involved in each lesson. She feels the time spent researching and creating these lessons really pays off when she see students working collaboratively and enthusiastically sharing their approach to problem solving.

When asked what she most looked forward to about getting back in the classroom, Kimberly didn’t have to think for long
– As each year begins, I look forward to meeting all of my students. I am blessed to have the opportunity to mold young minds and do my best to insure that I have helped to create future mathematicians with a life-long love of learning.

There is nothing more rewarding than when I hear a student who has finally overcome their own struggles in math come to me and say, “Mrs. Morrow, even though I was never really good at math, you made it fun. I really like math now, and I’m doing better.”

Finally, we were curios what advice she would give other teachers about overcoming back-to-school challenges?
– Take a step back and breathe. Find a balance that works for you. If you do your best work after school, consider staying after school two days each week for an hour or so.  Should you prefer early mornings, come to work a little earlier and allow yourself time to plan. Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking tons of work home each day. You will burn yourself out. Your performance will suffer as a result, and ultimately, your students will suffer the most.

Have an outlet. Find an activity that you really enjoy, and pursue it. Be selfish with this allotted time, and make the most of it. Paint a picture. Read a book. Become a baker. The possibilities are limitless.

Lastly, remember that we are in a position to influence our future leaders, and it’s imperative that we do our best to mold them in such a manner. Face them each kim morrowday with a smile because it may be the only smile they see all day. The student who is the hardest to love is probably the one that needs it the most. Motivational speaker Josh Shipp said it best, “Every kid is just caring adult away from being a success story.”

We are in a position to influence our future leaders

Kimberly finished off saying “I would like to thank DigiExam for supporting teachers worldwide on National Teacher Day! I am thrilled and honored to be the grand prize winner. The faculty at Rhea Middle School is eager to begin using DigiExam and enjoying the free time we will gain by using the program. The money will be well-spent on technology upgrades for my classroom, in addition to purchasing rewards for our Positive Behavior System at our school.”

We’re thrilled to welcome Rhea Middle School to the DigiExam family and look forward to working together to find ways for their teachers to save administration time, so that they can spend more time on developing inspiring in classroom activities.

We believe all teachers should have the opportunity of saving administration time, so sign up for a free teacher account here and give it a go!

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