Hear from Shannon Sinclair about maturing as a teacher and role model at Sampson County Schools.
Sampson County is very dependent on an agricultural economy and has many economically disadvantaged families. We need quality teachers, especially in science and math, connected to the community, so children have the best education possible. Sampson County is my home! Overwhelmed and feeling ignorant in my first year in college, I decided that my number one goal would be to ensure my students are successful in the real world and never feel unprepared or inferior to students from other systems.
My teaching began twenty-nine years ago and was inspired by several educators I admired and respected during my K-12 years. What exactly inspires me to continue to teach in the secondary environment has changed throughout my career. In the beginning, I found that I wanted to save all those lost souls and not to brag, I did reach quite a few. I was young, full of enthusiasm, and it was easy for the high school students to confide in me. After a few years, I noticed things started to shift. I was not as young, but the students I taught were still in the same age range, so I did not connect with them as much as I had in my earlier years. So, I became very active in sponsoring clubs, coaching sports, and volunteering for dances and such. These activities with the students seemed to help, and I felt connected again. I always felt confident in my abilities to teach my subject matter, but the connection with the students was a struggle because of the age difference. To me, the relationship is just as meaningful as the actual teaching. In my later years, I have now accepted my role as a mother. Yes, I am a school mom. I understand that most of my students need nurturing at school as well as in their homelives. They also need someone who will be honest with them and, at times, stern. Unfortunately, many are not getting this in their homes, so I do what I can to provide this emotional need and overall support in the school environment. So, to say my students inspire me to teach and continue to teach would be a definite yes. I teach for them not only to educate but to support them through these difficult years.
Located in the Coastal Plains about 1 hour from both the coast and Raleigh (the Capital City), Sampson County is the largest county in the state. Sampson County Schools serves over 8,000 students in our 18 schools. In collaboration with home and community, we will prepare and graduate all students to become productive citizens in a globally competitive and digital world. We will empower all students to be successful in college and career and we are dedicated to continuous improvement.
Sampson County Schools Director of Teacher Support spends many hours in classrooms providing assistance to beginning teachers and holds monthly meetings with them. Mentors also share daily, individualized support. We partner with the NC New Teacher Support Program to provide some beginning teachers with weekly support from a regional master teacher/mentor. Our instructional coaches give on-site professional development and data-analysis.
Sampson County Schools offers a comprehensive salary and benefits package to our teachers. Information can be found on the Public Schools of North Carolina’s website. In addition, we offer teachers a 7% annual supplement.
Our high school CTE departments offer a variety of programs including auto mechanics, construction technology, early childhood education and medical sciences. We partner with our community college to offer certifications/credentials in Certified Nursing Assistant, Early Childhood and Truck Driving. High school students can also take college courses through the Career and College Promise (CCP) program. Several students have graduated from our traditional high schools with an associate’s degree!
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