Thursday, March 13, 2014
Editor’s note: This is a continuation of a series profiling local teachers of the year.
Moving from the classroom to the library came easily for Stephanie Morin.
Morin, the teacher of the year at North Augusta Elementary School, made her move from a fifth-grade classroom to the library six years ago.
“It was a very big learning experience, because, in the classroom you’re focused on your subject matter and you’re specialized in your grade level,” she said. “I had to learn how to take a skill that I was teaching to a fifth-grader and take it all the way down to kindergarten. So, you’re learning what is unique about each grade level and each child. You’re seeing the progression from a child that is in kindergarten just learning to read to a self-sufficient learner. That’s a great experience.”
Now that she is out of the classroom, Morin is able to interact with more students, getting to see their progression as learners throughout their time at North Augusta Elementary School.
“I have had, now that this is my seventh year, two years of seeing kids from kindergarten all the way through,” Morin said. “I’ve been able to see that, and learn them and learn their experiences. A classroom teacher sees them for one year, all day long. I get to see them for six years and see their progression and how they change. I work with kindergarten through fifth-grade, and I try my very best to impart information technology skills to the students. (I teach) life skills, not only focused on reading literacy, which is the most important, but also in teaching them how to use the library and how to find information.”
While Morin enjoyed her time as a teacher, the call to the library came from her experiences in the classroom.
“It was kind of a development in how I was teaching and wanting to expand my knowledge,” she said. “I was a math and science teacher, and when we did science experiments and research, students would ask for more than just the basics. We would always look up more information or go get a book and learn more. So, I found that I wanted to learn more, too. I always had a big interest in technology and so, I was thinking, ‘What can I do, where do I want to fit in, what can I see me doing that can expand my knowledge?’ The library was the fit.”
The title of teacher of the year is exciting for Morin, but her joy comes from seeing kids learn on a daily basis.
“The greatest part of my job is seeing the kids learn. Seeing the joy in the kids’ face when they find the books by themselves and it connects to them somehow and they can’t wait to tell me about it, that’s a real joy to me.”
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for The North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.