Teacher of the Year award winner thankful for gift of teaching
By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist
“She is all about doing whatever it takes to make each and every one of her students successful.”
This is one of the reasons fifth grade teacher Aundrea Blevins was named Teacher of the Year at Chelsea Intermediate School, said Counselor Cynthia Smith.
“She has a unique way of building a very high level of confidence in each student, and values student differences… Aundrea has a sweet, caring spirit and is loved by all of us at Chelsea Intermediate.”
Teachers at the school choose the teacher for this award. It was presented by Aundrea’s daughter, Sarah, a Chelsea Middle School sixth-grader, with Aundrea’s husband, Chris (a County Sheriff’s Department Deputy) and 4-year-old Lilly Ruth present at an after-school meeting.
A formal presentation will be made to Teachers of the Year from all Shelby County Schools Dec. 3 at Oak Mountain School.
Blevins said she feels the rewards she receives everyday as a teacher far outweigh any sacrifices a teacher might make in time and effort for out-of-class activities and paperwork. “God blessed me with a gift of teaching,” she said, “I am sincerely willing to give of myself in these areas.”
She quotes a recent message from a parent as validating her purpose in teaching: You make our children feel they are made with a purpose. Your class reeks of confidence. They love each other and celebrate each other’s successes in a family atmosphere.
For her students to achieve their full potential, she must create for them a comfortable and accepting learning environment, she said. She believes a teacher has a great influence on each student who walks through her door, and it is up to the teacher to decide what that influence will be. “It has been my conscious decision to strive to be a positive influence,” she said. “If my students don’t learn, it’s my failure for not reaching them on their level.
“It is my prayer that my students will leave me better than they came to me,” she said. “I wake up every morning and thank God I get to teach another day.”
Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.