Mrs. Loretta Lewis
One of the earliest memories of my childhood is playing school with the neighborhood kids. I would sometimes be a student in the class but I was most confident when I was the teacher. I would teach my “pretend students” with so much enthusiasm and determination.
I excelled academically in school and graduated in the top 5% of my class. I always knew that I wanted to go to college. I would be the first in my family to do so. I just did not know what would be my career track. I finally settled on education and the rest is history. I graduated after four years of college, took and passed the teacher certification test, and began my career as a 6th grade mathematics teacher. I could not have imagined a better first year of teaching. My students had tested in the lowest 25th percentile on the previous year’s test, but they were motivated and wanted to learn. Their progress was exceptional. That first year of teaching affirmed that I had chosen the correct career path.
Since then, I have taught every grade from 1st to 8th with the exception of 3rd grade. I love a challenge and therefore I am motivated to try new adventures, even though I think middle school is where I belong. Middle school students bring so many different perspectives on life. They are old enough to have opinions, and they do, but they also have open minds. They want to learn and achieve and my job is to assist them with getting there.
Now, 30 plus years later, I am still excited to see students learn. I enjoy workshops and trainings that allow me to learn new research-based strategies and programs that are designed to facilitate student learning. I sometimes hear from students who I have taught in the past. I am thrilled to hear their “where are you now” stories. There is so much joy in my heart when young people achieve their goals and move on to even bigger and better things in life.
I love my students and they love me back. I begin each day with wonder about what the day will bring! Here at West Chatham Middle School, I don’t know if I am teaching the next scientist who will discover a cure for cancer, the next astronaut, the next billionaire business owner, or the next president of the United States. What I do know is that becoming a public school educator was the best decision I could have ever made.