Sunday, April 22, 2018

For Tampa Bay Technical reading teacher, caring is part of the job

Teachers facilitate their students' learning. Any relationship outside of this job description usually is frowned upon, especially when there are too many examples in the news of teacher-student relationships crossing the line.

A majority of teachers know the boundaries, but how does a teacher decide when it is appropriate to go beyond that "facilitate learning" role?

At Tampa Bay Technical High, reading teacher Shawn Abbott knows, according to her students, helping them manage life problems, not just reading problems. "She's so cool, and she actually listens to you," said junior Quinton West.

Why go the extra mile? "Because you never know how bad someone could be feeling, or what they are going through," she said. "So if you have the time in your day to sit down and listen, then I don't see why not."

One time in Abbott's eighth-period class, a student wanted to throw a party for another student's birthday, but didn't have the funds, so Abbott paid for a cake.

Abbott, who is one of those teachers students come back to visit after they leave high school, talked with tb-two* about her outlook on teaching.

Would you say you go above and beyond for your students?

To me it's not going above and beyond. I just think it's part of my job to care about the students I teach.

What qualities in a student make you want to invest your time in them?

There is no such thing as "qualities" to have when it comes to investing your time in a student. I believe that you should help a child always, under any circumstances.

Did being able to help students factor into why you became a teacher? No, I just wanted to teach. But I figured being a teacher, I would be able to help students in any way I can.

Growing up, did you have a teacher who invested time in you? No, and that's what pushes me to be that one teacher students love and want to come back and see.

   
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