As we continue of celebration of teachers in 2023, we begin with Lauren Moore. Lauren was recently voted by her peers as the 2022-2023 Snow Rogers Teacher of the Year.
Tell us a little about you and how you decided to become a teacher?
I have lived in Birmingham my entire life. I attended Fultondale schools Kindergarten – 12th grade and obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Samford University. My teaching career started at Tarrant Intermediate which was an incredible experience and I currently teach 5th grade at Snow Rogers which is equally as amazing! I am happily married to my high school sweetheart, Dalton, and we have a one year old daughter. Over this past year, my favorite moments have become our evenings spent making memories as a family. I decided to become a teacher based on a concept of equity versus equality. I am extremely passionate about this topic as an educator. We often give materials and lessons to make it equal, but we forget the goal is to encourage equity. We must give each student the tools THEY need to succeed. They’ve had a tough morning and need to sit by you looking out the window? Okay, done. They forgot to study and need some extra time in class? Okay, done. They need you to give them 5 minutes of your undivided attention? Okay, done. This makes it harder on the teacher to incorporate all the strategies and skills each child needs, but it is so much more rewarding!
What is your favorite part of being a teacher?
My favorite part of being a teacher is when the students start to grasp the concept that we are a family. We win together, we lose together, and we take care of each other. There is far too much pressure on students to perform at a certain level by a certain time. While academics is important, the moments that bring me the most joy are those where my kids want to sit together and talk about their weekend or when I see two kids with nothing in common playing a game together. When they understand the importance of community and how it properly functions, I am fulfilled!
Are there special moments where you say to yourself “this is why I teach?”
Sometimes there are days when I wonder if teaching is still for me. Is this where God wants me still? Honestly, some days are long and hard. Not because of the kids but because of all the demands that teaching brings to the table. BUT then I see a moment. A moment that has nothing to do with my lesson plan. A moment where a student needs a listening ear. A moment that allows me to refocus on my why.
What’s the one thing you would like people to know about teachers?
“Must be nice to have your summer off and a long Christmas break. Working from 8:00 – 3:00 is a dream.” One thing I want people to know about teachers is that these comments sting. If the person is in the education field for the right reasons, the work never ends just because the school year is over or the last bell of the day rings. A true teacher cares about the students 24/7 and spends an ample amount of time investing in the learning environment even though the world thinks they are just “off.”
If you had one wish for something special for your classroom, what would it be?
Things are great, but experiences are better. 5th grade is taking a field trip to Camp Cosby in the Spring and my one wish currently is for every child to be able to attend no matter their financial circumstances.