Humorous personalities. Personable conversations. Effective class time. Many of the seniors’ favorite teachers not only enthusiastically engage their students in their subject but also take time to get to know their students personally.
Meaningful student-teacher relationships have formed because of the teachers’ hard work and dedication.
Senior Abigail Hayes especially enjoyed Mrs. Jennifer Smathers’ PreAlgebra and Algebra 2 classes. At the end of seventh grade, Mrs. Smathers gave each student a personalized “paper plate award.” On each award, she wrote encouraging phrases such as “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day” or “Ray of Sunshine.”
“The way that she taught was engaging and made more people enjoy math,” said Hayes. “She taught at a pace that people could comprehend, and she really wanted to make sure that you understood before she moved on. She would also crack jokes with us, which made the class more enjoyable.”
One of senior Joey Martindale’s favorite teachers is his current Economics teacher, Mrs. Emily Wood. According to Martindale, she balances her interactive teaching with joking around and having fun.
“She’s good at using real world applications and telling us how what’s going on in our everyday lives is affected by what we’re learning,” said Martindale.
Mrs. Becky Hembree, head of the Bible department, teaches the Old Testament Bible class. One day after class, Mrs. Hembree took her students to have lunch at Copper Coin. They talked together for about three hours, and Mrs. Hembree encouraged the girls by sharing advice on the Christian lifestyle and her impressions of each student. According to Garner, Mrs. Hembree uses personal anecdotes and historical context to help the girls understand the lesson instead of just memorizing it.
“I like her because she’s really personable and friendly,” said Garner. “She teaches in a way that makes it feel real. When you read [the Old Testament] by yourself, it’s hard to understand the context and some of it seems weird, but Mrs. Hembree can relate it to your personal life and the New Testament.”
Mr. Fox connects with his students by paying attention to them individually. He also goes the extra mile by always being available to his students and by holding a math lab every week to provide extra help and support.
“He doesn’t just listen to the class, he listens to you as an individual,” said senior Candace Campbell. “He’s very considerate.”
After missing a day of class, Campbell remembers Mr. Fox asking her the next school day where she was and if she was all right.
“I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it mattered to me,” said Campbell. “It was just a sign that my teacher cares about me more than he cares about academics. That little act of kindness was impactful.”
Sydney Roberts has especially enjoyed Mrs. Lucia Singleton’s Anatomy and Biology classes. According to Roberts, Mrs. Singleton’s bubbly and straightforward personality makes her easy to communicate with.
“Her class is really fun, but it’s not just class,” said Roberts. “She really cares about who you are and how you are doing. She checks up on you and is always open to talk.”