Meet Ashton Goretzke, Georgetown County School District’s Teacher of the Year

Ashton is an inspiration in and out of the classroom, here is a bit of her story.

The most satisfying part of my day is at the beginning of each class period, when I ask my students to share good things going on in their lives. I love the opportunity to connect with my students on personal level so that I can be not only their teacher, but a mentor and role model.

Teaching is so much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Teaching is shaping the future minds of society and building relationships that will produce successful citizens. Teaching is wanting and striving to ignite the fire and passion in a child and watching them grow. Teaching is emotional, a daily challenge, and the most rewarding experience a person could have. Go into teaching with a desire and heart for children and the future.

As a young girl, I used to dance at a dance studio. Outside of my personal classes I would teacher assist the younger students. When I was in 7th grade I was placed in charge of teaching two students who had Down Syndrome. Over the course of the year, I was convinced that at the recital I would need to go on stage and dance with them. On the night of the recital when the curtain opened, and the music began to play, these two girls, with whom I’d spent countless hours working, began to dance. They remembered every bit of the choreography I had taught them. Tears filled my eyes. That night I realized that there was nothing more rewarding in life than teaching.

The hardest part of being a teacher is letting go of your students. Teachers spend almost an entire year getting to know their students, working on their weaknesses, and trying to build their understanding of the world. I love reaching my students on an academic and personal level. I love to help mold the minds of my students and help them figure out what they value, believe, and where they see themselves in their future. Children have dreams, imaginations, and thoughts that can totally change even an adults’ perspective on life; there is nothing more rewarding than watching them grow into young adults.

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