Our Educating Georgia’s Future Teacher Spotlights introduce you to those educators. This time, meet Stephanie Scott. She’s a third grade math teacher at Jamestown Elementary School in the Richmond County School System, and was recognized as a Richmond County Golden Apple Award recipient during her first year of teaching.
How did you know you wanted to teach? What was your path to the profession?
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Bazemore, inspired me to become a teacher. I was a struggling learner and she took the time to work with me after school to make sure I was successful. She was a firm teacher who demanded structure in her classroom. This truly benefited me and encouraged me to study Early Childhood Education as an undergraduate student at Georgia Regents University.
Your nominator said, “Ms. Scott would typically spend hours after school planning ways to personalize the learning of her students.” What are some methods you use to personalize education for each student?
I participate in the Professional Learning Community that our school has in place that encourages horizontal and vertical planning. This gives me insight on what standards are being presented for mastery in the previous grades, as well as gain insight on what will be required of students in the future grades. I also use our Universal Screener that identifies students’ strengths and weaknesses; this information allows me to group students based on their abilities so that I can spend the time giving enrichment instruction to those that are at or above grade level, while giving my at-promise students the necessary foundational developmental skills.
As a teacher who received accolades early in her career – what advice would you offer to first-year teachers?
Ask questions to find your niche - don't try to reinvent the wheel. There are so many resources in your sights, but you'll never see them if you don't know where to look.
What’s the last moment that caused you to stop and remember why you love teaching?
When my students and I saw the results of our hard work at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. All of the students showed growth on the Universal Screener, and all but one student moved from "red" to "yellow" or "green." We were really excited.