Preparing pupils for the 21st century is particularly challenging, especially when you have no idea what jobs you are preparing them for, said Evans Middle School seventh grade social studies teacher Lorraine Hall, Columbia County's 2001-2002 teacher of the year.
Columbia County Teacher of the Year Lorraine Hall collects school work from her seventh-grade students at Evans Middle School.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Eighty percent of kindergartners will hold jobs that we don't even know about. That's why we need to teach children to adapt to change, to challenge them academically," she said.
Hall adopted the "no child left behind" philosophy long before President George Bush signed a law by that name, long before it became an educational buzz phrase.
"I think for so long we have thought education fits a bell-curve - that there's a top half and a bottom half," she said. "You can't be satisfied to let certain kids go. You have to nurture everybody to have their place in society. We need to care for every child."
Last year, Hall was named Wal Mart's Teacher of the Year.
"She's genuinely concerned about her students," said Principal Myrel Seigler. "She's always working to improve what she does so that all her children will benefit."
Hall has been teaching for 20 years and has taught everything from kindergarten through 12 grade, and even taught college English and English as a second language classes in Moscow.
Hall, who considers herself a life-long learner, earned her doctorate in 2000 from West Virginia University, the same year she and her husband moved to Columbia County and she began teaching at Evans Middle School.
"I just love middle school," she said. "You need to be able to enjoy them and have a lot of energy. You can challenge kids and have fun in the classroom."
Though she is eligible, Hall said she has no plans to retire.
"I'll probably retire in another 20 or 30 years, when I'm 102," she jokes.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.