Local Schools

Robin Bates Strives to Inspire Greatness in Her Students

Treye Hanner: Tell us a little about you and your journey to becoming a teacher?

Robin Bates: I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I moved off to Birmingham to pursue a career in early childhood and elementary education. I decided to become a teacher because I was raised by an educator, my mother, who graduated from the University of Alabama. My mother, Dr.Trhompasion retired after 35yeas of teaching Exceptional Education.

I grew up witnessing her undying commitment to all of her students in her class. Growing up watching my mother teach school all day, then come home and do work and take care of us to make sure that we did our home work, really inspired me to pursue education.

Honestly, I have to admit that for a while I was running away from education, but it always seemed to call me back. Additionally, when I was in 3rd grade, I had a teacher that was not inspiring at all. In fact, my negative experience was another driving factor that inspired me to become a much more caring and loving teacher. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the best teacher that I experienced, but with that negative encounter, it inspired me to be a better 3rd grade teacher.

The only grade that I have ever taught has been third grade, so I know that teaching students specifically in third grade is my purpose. I don’t want my students to experience not having a third-grade teacher who inspires, loves and motivates them to do their best! This is my 10th year in the field of education.

Treye Hanner: What is your favorite part of being a teacher?

Robin Bates: One of my favorite parts of being an elementary education teacher is seeing my students want to learn new things and one of my favorite things is that when I’m teaching a skill or concept and they make those meaningful life connections whether it’s with me or if they’re out of town they may recall something that I have taught them and they will tell me “ I remember Miss Bates when you did this” and it just really makes my day because I know that they are listening and paying attention to the content material that I’m teaching them and relating it into real world experiences.

Treye Hanner: Are there special moments where you say to yourself “this is why I teach?”

Robin Bates: There are special moments when I sit back and think, is this really for me? Then I realize this is exactly where I want to be! In fact, every profession in the world starts with an educator. So, in essence, all educators inspire. Our students become doctors, lawyers, dentists, other teachers, judges and council members.

I want to inspire and have a positive attitude in all professions. I know that I am inspiring not only the field of education, but professional careers such as technology. All teachers have an impact on students in some way. When they get older the concepts and skills they have learned will carry them far and this is why I teach!

Treye Hanner: What’s the one thing you would like people to know about teachers?

Robin Bates: One thing I would like for people to know about teachers is that we are more than just teachers. We are counselors, we are problem solvers. We, especially, are role models. We investigate behavior issues to get down to the bottom of why behavior issues have occurred. Moreover, we are encouragers, motivators, and cheerleaders for our students.

Lastly, when we leave the school building, that doesn’t mean our teaching stops. Teachers are always constantly communicating with parents after hours, and even before hours on the weekends A teacher’s job never ends. Most people have the luxury of clocking in and then leaving their work at the office. It’s much different for dedicated educators. We work at school, and we work at home. Once we leave the school building that does not mean that our work is over. Although salaried employees, we still continue to work after hours to support our students, parents, and their families.