Hi, my name is Earl Whittemore. For eight years, I taught at the middle school level in Roxboro, North Carolina. I spent a pretty equal amount of time between teaching Social Studies and Language Arts. Honestly, even when I taught Social Studies, I taught a good bit of literacy skills. Starting the beginning of July 2016, I transitioned to the role of Tech Director at my school, Roxboro Community School. In this new role, I endeavor to be a resource for my fellow teachers. I provide professional development, resources for teachers, and model lessons. Additionally, I am responsible for maintaining the network and the Chromebooks and laptops used in the building.
I had a bit of a winding road to get to the teaching vocation. When I went to Wingate University, I eventually majored in Communications after brief flirtations with Chemistry, Religion, Philosophy, and Speech. Once I graduated, I went to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where I received a Master of Divinity degree, which is a misnomer since one can’t really master that topic. I became a pastor in the eastern part of North Carolina in a place called Aulander (the red dot on the map). While I was there I was given an opportunity to work as a teacher at a small private school in Lasker, North Carolina. I fell in love with teaching, and over the course of a year, I decided to make a career change. I retired from being a pastor and became a lateral entry (provisional license) teacher.
My first year of teaching in Roxboro revolutionized my ability to teach. The students that I had were an incubator for me to eventually flourish. While it was difficult, I was blessed with a PLN that still influences me today. I learned in a baptism of fire most of what I hold to be true in education. These can be summed up as:
- Students respond to teachers that love them by learning, but revile teachers that act like an adversary.
- That doesn’t mean you let students do everything they want. Love doesn’t mean permissive; it means you do whatever you can to make their lives truly better.
- Your classroom needs to be a sanctuary where students feel safe from the potential insanity going on in their lives.
- All students can learn, but they don’t learn in the same way.
- Teachers aren’t the most important people in their students’ lives; parents are. Teachers should try to be allied with those parents.
Now, I am in a different role. That doesn’t mean I need to change a lot.
Here is a visual representation of some of my educational beliefs:
Quotes about me:
All images are the property of Earl Whittemore, unless otherwise noted such as a link back to the source.