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Top Teaching Blogger

Brian Smith

“When I grow up I’m going to be a teacher just like you . . . only skinny.” This is how 5-year-old Richard told me that he loved school one morning when he walked into my kindergarten classroom. My initial reaction, of course, was laughter. It took me a little while thinking about it to realize that he was telling me that I had made an impact and that he loved school! I have a great job.

I proudly teach kindergarten at Wittenburg Elementary School in Alexander County Schools and I'm honored to be representing them as their Teacher of the Year this year. I love being the first point of contact for both parents and students as they begin their educational journey. I love students who make me laugh out loud (almost all of them) and the students who have huge personalities. I firmly believe that these are the children who will change the world. I strive to make sure that all students experience school as a safe environment where their risk-taking, creative, and individual spirits can really shine. I am passionate about children’s literature and love finding the perfect book to bring home each lesson.

I’ve been an educator since 2001. I graduated with my undergraduate degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina and with my master’s in elementary education from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. I am a lifelong learner who loves to bring new ideas into the classroom (this could be due to some undiagnosed attention deficit disabilities). I have also earned a local endorsement for teaching students who are academically gifted.

I am a little bit obsessed with children's literature and I am blessed enough to have the privilege to teach Children and Adolescent Literature at Lenoir-Rhyne University. I also teach two other courses for pre-service teachers: Differentiation and Assessment.

Personally, I have been married for 18 years to a wonderful woman named Liz. We have an awesome daughter, Ella. Her activities and social schedule keep us busy. We live in Hickory, North Carolina, with our indoor cats, Boo Radley and Miss Gigi Pickles.

Top Teaching bloggers are paid contributors for the Scholastic Teachers website.



Susan Cheyney

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