White is driven to give all students a quality education - Camp Lejeune Globe: Carolina Living

White is driven to give all students a quality education

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 12:00 am

This week our featured teacher is Curtis White, who is an educational aide for 6th graders, Student 2 Student advisor at Brewster Middle School on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and serves as a Lejeune Education Support Association Building Representative.

White has been teaching at Brewster for 10 years, but he has a total of 13 years of experience in the educational field.

White graduated with an Associate in Science degree from Coastal Carolina Community College.

Q. What encouraged you to pursue your job as an educator?

A. When I was a young child, I loved playing school with my brother and sister. I always looked up to all my former childhood teachers and admired each of them and said one day I will be an educator.

Q. What encouraged you to pursue education within your specific age level/curriculum?

A. I wanted to make sure all children received the highest and best education possible no matter race, gender or special education needs.

Q. What is your main classroom philosophy?

A. Being a Middle School Educational Aide is a task that cannot be taken lightly. It is full of challenges, frustrations, and responsibilities.

However, it is a task that is also full of excitement, wonder and joy. I strongly believe that all children are capable of learning, if they have the proper motivation and direction from their teachers. As a teacher, I need to be aware of learning, motivation, behavior and development theories in order to relate to my students and push them to reach their full potential. It is my duty to see that all my students are being motivated. This is only fair to the students. They deserve my time and full attention in regards to their education.

Q. What is a lesson you have learned from your students?

A. The key lesson I have learned through the years of being an Educational Aide is that less is more. You have to teach within time constraints. I realized in my later years the importance of student engagement. Lessons cannot just be about information. I had to find a way to connect what I was teaching to things they already knew.

Q. What is your favorite part of being an educator?

A. I think the biggest thing that I have learned is how important positive feedback and recognition is. Students will work harder in your class if they feel successful.

Q. What advice would you give to upcoming/new educators?

A. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and learn from your mistakes. Get advice and support from your teachers. You must build professional relationships within your school. Always strive to make a personal connection with your students, and continue learning to better yourself. Most importantly, take time for yourself.

Q. What are three words that would describe your life outside of the classroom? (hobbies, interests, etc.)

A. Adventurous, Compassionate, and Serving the Lord.

Q. What is a favorite memory from your teaching career?

A. I was standing in the hallway during my morning hall duty at a certain elementary school. A second grade student came up to me and said, “Mr. White, please don’t get mad.” Can I ask you this question? “Why does your last name say white and you are brown?” I busted out laughing and told the student God created us all different colors. He replied, “You are correct Mr. White, have a great day” and walked to his classroom smiling.

Q. What advice would you give to a parent of a Middle School Student?

A. I would tell a parent that middle school is an important time in a child’s life that we need to listen and watch all their actions and assist them when it’s needed and support them.

Q. What changes would you like to see implemented in the school system within the next 5 years?

A. I would to see more life skill classes and classes that will help prepare students for the real world.

Q. What are the biggest challenges you face as an educator in a military town?

A. The challenge I face is not really knowing if the students will remain a full year and if the students have mastered their grade level.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share about being an educator?

A. Being an educator is not an easy job, it comes with a lot of roles and responsibilities. The job doesn’t pay much, but the smiles on the student’s faces are more rewarding. Teaching is not meant for everyone. You have to have the drive, patience, understanding, compassion and love for children.

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