Commissioner Candice McQueen gives teachers the floor
Evensville, TN — Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen made Rhea County High School her last stop in her three school tour on Monday, May 7, 2018. She visited Pikeville and Meigs County schools before visiting Rhea County High School. The focus of the tour has been ‘Teach Today, Change Tomorrow”, Which identifies the students of today as potentially being the teachers of tomorrow.
Commissioner McQueen spoke and then turned the floor over to teachers from Rhea County Schools and also teacher from Ocoee Middle School. Each took time to share their experience as a teacher and how rewarding it was to be a teacher. The constant theme from each teacher speaking was how much teaching was more than a job. Teaching was described as a way of giving to the community, a way of making a difference and a profession that was about much more than the money. Since it was Teacher Appreciation Week, it was appropriate that teachers were giving the stage to give back and turn the tables by showing their appreciation of students and the contributions their students go on to make in the community on on society.
On hand were representatives of several schools including Roane State, Chattanooga State, Bryan and Lee University. Also in attendance was Ron Travis, Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for the 31st district, encompassing parts of Bledsoe, Roane, Sequatchie and Rhea Counties. Jerry Levengood, the director of Rhea County Schools as well as other school administrators were in attendance.
Commissioner McQueen said, “When I was very young, I realized my mother had another child and that was her job. She was a teacher and loved her job. She realized how important it was for school environment to be stable.”
One of the teachers who spoke was Charlene Schwenk, a 4th grade teacher at Frazier Elementary School. She is the Math Coach. She has been teaching for 41 years, most of those at Frazier Elementary School. Charlene spoke with such love of teaching.
Charlene said, “I want my students to know that I love them and I care for them and I want my classroom to be effective and engaging and filled with enthusiasm.”
She looked around the room and pointed out students she had taught before they arrived at high school.
When you are a public education teacher, you get to teach all the children. It has been a great life for me.”
After the teachers spoke they each took a seat a a table full of students and talked with them about teaching. It was a very emotional and very interactive event and hopefully it will make a difference in the lives of some of the students. They definitely could see the love these teachers have for their profession and the way they care for their students.