Model Educators

Leslea Everett ’17 aspires to be the kind of teacher like the ones she had throughout school. “I firmly believe that good teachers encourage students to love learning,” she affirmed. “I want to give students what I had growing up: great role models, someone who cares, and someone who believes in them.”

The Laurel Hill, N.C., native found that the professors at Gardner-Webb University had similar values. “They knew my name and were willing to help me when I was confused, stuck, or unsure of my own ability,” explained Everett, a fourth-grade science and social studies teacher in Hamlet, N.C. “Having small class sizes gave me the ability to ask questions and have them answered immediately.”

The professors discussed techniques and strategies and the program gives plenty of opportunities for practice. “Each class was well thought out and geared toward a specific aspect of teaching,” Everett reflected, “But nothing could have prepared me more than the clinical hours I spent each semester observing veteran teachers and having the opportunity to teach their students.”

During student teaching, her favorite moments were seeing the students get excited about learning. She described a time that stood out above the rest: “As we were learning about fractions, I created a scavenger hunt for students to uncover fractions in the real world,” Everett said. “Students were focused and on task throughout the class period and even went home and looked up more fractional facts to tell me the next day.”

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