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Meet Mary Lynn Woodward, Florence School District Teacher of the Year

Today’s #teacherhero: Mary Lynn Woodward from Florence School District One. Mary teaches music at North Vista Elementary School, here is some of her story in her own words.

“I first knew I wanted to be a teacher during my Junior and Senior years in high school. I had a teacher who had such an impact on my life, and she made me believe in myself. My participation in the Teacher Cadet program just confirmed that teaching would be my future profession.

The most satisfying part of my day is walking into my school in the morning. I teach almost 700 students, and I’m greeted with hugs, smiles, big waves, and good mornings. Their excitement and passion for learning makes me feel like the richest person in the world.

Teaching is the most rewarding and yet the most challenging profession. I would tell anyone who may be considering the teaching profession to learn to see the world through the eyes of a child. I would also tell them to not be afraid of bad days because the good days far outweigh any bad. Finally, I would tell them that teaching is an opportunity to change the world for the better.

The hardest part of being a teacher is seeing a student who does not have a strong support system and lacks appropriate school supplies, and basic necessities. As teachers, we do not have the means to help all of the children who walk through our doors, and it breaks my heart.

I love my students. I serve the same students from Kindergarten through 6th grade. I know my students well–I know their struggles, passions, talents, and their motivations. I love when I see a student overcome a struggle or accomplish a task. Most importantly, I love when I see a parent take a more active role in their child’s life all because their child is excited about learning.”

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