This week our featured teacher is Lisa Beavers, a Health teacher at Lejeune High School.
Beavers has been teaching at Lejeune High School for 25 years, and is a graduate of Lejeune High School herself. Beavers graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Health Education. Along with teaching health, Beavers has been a sports coach, athletic trainer and faculty advisor of various students and clubs.
Q: What encouraged you to pursue your job as an educator?
Out of high school, I wanted to be a physical therapist and an athletic trainer and work with professional sports teams. In college, I started working on my sports medicine certification at ECU. When I was there, you had to either major in physical education or health education. I decided on health education because of my lack of coordination. Basically, it starts out as my only option to reach my career goal that became a total life plan detour.
Q: What encouraged you to pursue education within your specific age level/curriculum?
I loved the material covered in high school health education curriculum (leading behavioral causes of death, accident prevention, drug prevention, suicide prevention, sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, and pregnancy prevention, nutrition and exercise.) I feel like the information I get to provide in my classes makes the difference between life and death. It is one of the most meaningful and useful class a person can take in school. I prefer the high school age kids because I think they are the most fun to work with.
Q: What is your main classroom philosophy?
Every student deserves to feel successful and special in my classroom. I want them to be engaged, enthusiastic and excited to learn something new.
Q: What is a lesson you have learned from your students?
I learn something new from students almost every day especially when it comes to technology. They are so tech-savvy. Their ability to use Google drive to turn in assignments by email outside of the school day, collaborate on assignment and document editing, and online tests all make my job so much easier.
Q: What is your favorite part of being an educator?
My favorite part of being an educator is seeing students be successful, and who are proud of their success in the classroom. In my advisory class, I have had students who have almost failed, and would not have graduated high school if they had continued on that path. We have worked together to get to their ultimate goal of graduations. I stayed on them every day about completing assignments and studying to the point it was almost easier to do the work and study than to listen to me. It was worth it though, when they hit their goals and to see how much they beamed with pride.
Q: What advice would you give to upcoming/new educators?
Spend time volunteering in classrooms. Try all different grade levels and subjects. Most teachers have a grade level that they love to work with. Not everyone has the patience to work with students.
Q: What are three words that would describe your life outside of the classroom? (hobbies, interests, etc.)
I spend a lot of time outside of my classroom working with extracurricular activities and sports. It makes the time I spend on the class easier because I have developed a relationship with not only my students but their parents as well. They know I really care about them.
Outside of that, I love going to play team trivia, East Carolina University football games, cruises and Onslow Beach. Go Pirates.
Q: What is a favorite memory from your teaching career?
I have many favorite memories from my career. It is difficult to pick any one moment, but some of my favorite have been while coaching: the Lady Pups softball team winning games, winning conference and regional with our track team, the football team making it to the third round of the state playoffs, awesome proms and homecoming dances, or our University of North Carolina sports medicine field trip where the bus broke down. Most importantly, the relationships I developed and still maintain with former students.
Q: What advice would you give to a parent of a high school student?
As frustrating as each day can be, never give up on them! Keep showing them you love and care for them. It will click for them in their own time; this usually happens two months before the end of their senior year. That’s when they realize an education and graduation are important, when it clicks that they will have to work for the rest of their lives. It finally settles in that up until now their biggest responsibilities were to be the best student they can be. So encourage your child to play sports and join clubs, as this teaches skills that will help them be successful in their future career. Being a good student pays off on academic scholarships and grants.
Q: What changes would you like to see implemented in the school system within the next five years?
I would like to see a return to the emphasis being placed on vocational programs as much as advanced placement classes in schools. Not everyone is college ready when they graduate. Some need to be ready for a career in a vocational field. Again, when they feel successful in school, they will be less disruptive in class and enjoy at school.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face as an educator in a military town?
I hate students moving away before they graduate from LHS because of the relationships we have developed with them and their families. As a military brat myself, I remember the struggle. Social media has made it easier to maintain contact, especially with some of my more memorable students. The transient nature of the military makes consistency of education plans for students and sports teams difficult. Students have to overcome obstacles of adjusting to new culture of the community and school.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about being an educator?
I have my dream job. Every day is completely unpredictable! Even under stressful conditions, my students make me so proud of them. I am blessed to work with the best kids ever at LHS. They make me smile.