Our Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Christina Maples of W.B. Wicker Elementary School. Ms. Maples is a fifth grade teacher and has been an educator for eight years. She was recently honored as the W.B. Wicker Elementary Teacher of the Year in the school’s inaugural 2019-2020 school year. Ms. Maples holds an Associate’s Degree in General Education from Central Carolina Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and minor in Computer Science from Appalachian State University and a teaching license from Fayetteville State University.
Ms. Maples feels that by making personal connections with her students, they will have the security needed to grow and learn. She notes,“My classroom community will always be a safe place for students to learn, make mistakes and find support from peers and teachers.”
Ms. Maples thinks her students “love when she gets off task because it leads to meaningful conversations.” Her best days come when her students are interacting, engaging, and supporting each other in positive ways. She observes, “An example would be when another student asked to take their friend into the hallway and find out why they weren’t participating in class. The student returned to class with their friend and later explained that their friend misunderstood the directions. This interaction between students turned the situation around completely. Having students that trust and respect others is invaluable in the classroom.”
In reflecting on the merits of the teaching profession, Ms. Maples notes, “If you are considering a career in teaching, you can’t just like children, you have to be prepared to really show children that you care, make personal connections with every child, and be genuine. Be reflective, adaptable, compassionate, and willing to teach the whole child, not just the standards.”