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Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee Profile: Kimberley Strickland

What made you decide to become a teacher?
When my oldest daughter was in first grade she had an amazing teacher, Rani Foscue. It was obvious that Mrs. Foscue put children first and loved her job. She made sure that each student felt loved and created a welcoming learning environment. My daughter came home excited to go back to school the next day. Every time I volunteered I would come home feeling that this teacher was making a difference in the world. I decided that I wanted to do the same. Every day I strive to be my students’ Mrs. Foscue. I hope that they have the same positive experience that my daughter had.

What’s the most worthwhile part of being a teacher?
The most worthwhile part is watching children interact with each other. When a pencil box falls on the floor, no less than 5 students rush to help. When a friend is upset they are all concerned. When a student experiences a triumph the entire class cheers. We should all strive to be more like the children we teach.

What can be done to better appreciate our teachers?
Recognizing that teaching is not a ten month 40 hour a week profession. The amount of time that teachers spend working on the evenings, weekends, holidays and during summer “break” more than makes up for the time that the general public believes we have “off”. Teaching does not stop in the classroom. Good teachers never stop working, learning and creating for their students.

What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring teachers?
Every day you have a choice to be present in a child’s life. You have to make the decision to be positive force in your classroom.

Editor’s note: This Q&A was originally published on Governor Cooper’s Medium website.

Governor Roy Cooper

Governor Roy Cooper serves as the 75th and current governor of North Carolina.