Surrounded by greatness

Published 11:02 am Monday, August 10, 2015

Pelham High School teachers Tonya Hatch, Rebecca Burnett and Katie Borland are ready for the first day of school. (Contributed)

Pelham High School teachers Tonya Hatch, Rebecca Burnett and Katie Borland are ready for the first day of school. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

The recruiter offered me the job on the spot. I was a 21-year-old young woman attending a career fair at the University of North Alabama—and I was stunned by this offer.

“You’ve barely glanced at my resume,” I said. “Are you serious?”

“I had your name,” he responded. “Leatrice Timmons recommended you. She was my teacher when I was a student here. She is the best teacher I ever had. If she recommends you—that’s all I need to know.”

“I will be a better writing teacher because Leatrice Timmons was my teacher,” I answered.

This recruiter already knew that. The offer was not about me or my resume. The offer was because he knew that I was the product of incredible teachers.

Attending summer training and being a student again helps teachers recall wonderful teachers from our past—and how hard it is to stay seated for hours at a time. Summer training changes the way that we teach for the better. This summer, several Pelham High School English teachers attended College Board’s Advanced Placement training for four days at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The drives and the days were long; however, we all walked away rethinking both sides of our teachers’ desks.

“The access to resources for lesson ideas to use with my students will be very valuable,” said Pelham High School’s Advanced Placement English literature teacher Rebecca Burnett.

Burnett’s inaugural year as the senior AP teacher was a great success. She continues to teach pre-AP English for freshmen as well making her our alpha and omega for students committed to AP English.

Sophomore pre-AP teacher Tonya Hatch, freshman teacher Katie Borland, and new broadcast teacher Deidra Crain also attended. Hatch and Borland attended an additional week of pre –AP professional development.

“I loved both weeks,” Hatch said. “I reworked my lesson plans. My training was just the revitalization I needed.”

Learning from colleagues, students, summer training and memories of former teachers is energizing. As we begin a new year together, I am grateful to still be surrounded by amazing teachers.