My name is Meghan Everette and I teach first grade in Daphne, Alabama, at Daphne Elementary School.
This is my first year teaching at Daphne and my first time teaching first graders! Previously I was a fourth grade teacher at George Hall Elementary; the Department of Education’s National Turn-Around Model and a Blue-Ribbon School. Situated in the Maysville community, Hall is 99 percent African American with 99 percent of the students receiving free or reduced lunch. Ninety-nine percent of the students live within a two-mile radius of the school in urban public housing. At Hall, I was the Youth in Engineering coordinator, Box Top coordinator, and grade level chair.
Daphne, on the other hand, is a large suburban school. There are nearly 600 students in grades PreK-3 with eight first-grade classrooms. My classroom has about 20 students ages five through seven in a variety of home environments. It is a very diverse school and my full-inclusion classroom has everything from a student fluent in Mandarin to a single-parent household to a blended family of seven. The focus is on math and technology with an influx of iPads in each classroom. Once our students move on to the intermediate school, they will have a 1:1 ratio of personal Mac books, so we are preparing our students for the digital renaissance. It’s quite a learning experience for me this year to be with younger students in a new environment. Every day is new!
I didn’t start out as an educator. I have a master’s in advertising and public relations, but I kept taking jobs that were school-related. Finally, my husband said if I enjoyed being in school that much, I should just teach. I started on my path to a master’s in elementary education and haven’t looked back. I sought out a job in an underprivileged school knowing that I could get an emergency certificate my first year of teaching. I found George Hall and landed in third grade, where an amazing mentor was put in my classroom for three weeks (and again periodically throughout the year). Because of her and the general school culture, my jumping off point turned into a permanent landing place. That mentor was also present when I was named Alabama’s 2013 Elementary Teacher of the Year and Alternate State Teacher of the Year.
I have a strong love of art and technology. I strive to find different, engaging ways to use technology all the time. We record plays and perform them as puppet shows, write and edit mock newscasts from the past, and learn about geometry through paintings done by Vasily Kandinsky. As I place a premium on student reading, I lead elaborate themed units and proudly display a large, leveled classroom library. Math and science come alive through hands-on experiments. I also have extremely high expectations for discipline. We have fun, but we also know how to work hard!
In my non-teacher life, I’m a married mother of two young boys in kindergarten and second grade. I’m excited that I now teach where they are attending school. I enjoy crafting, painting, the nearby white-sand beaches, and spoiling my little sister’s children. We take full advantage of living in a warm climate by participating in local sports and attending University of Alabama football games. Roll Tide, ya’ll!