Profiles in Pedagogy PreK-5
Our first Profiles in Pedagogy for grades PreK-5 honoree is Pam Clark, teacher at Straley School. Mrs. Clark received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Concord University (Concord College then), and a Master’s Degree in Reading from Marshall University.
Mrs. Clark loves seeing her students develop academically, socially, and emotionally throughout the school year. “It is so rewarding to see the inner pride and witness the self-motivation that students project when they realize they are truly understanding concepts and have those ‘light bulb’, eye-opening moments. It makes me feel so fulfilled to be just a small part of their journey through life!” Mrs. Clark also commented on the amount of preparation that goes into her lessons. “Many people do not understand how much time goes into researching, developing, creating, preparing, and establishing meaningful and pertinent lessons for our students—and the emotion and passion that drives our lessons to ensure that all our students benefit and gain insight and secure knowledge they need to attain.”
Teaching during a pandemic has expanded Mrs. Clark’s teaching repertoire. She says, “The pandemic has definitely taught me that no matter what your age, you can always learn new and innovative skills, and that with perseverance and practice you can adapt your teaching into different modes and methods that I had no way of ever imagining would happen during my career. Learning can take place in any situation—if you are only open to receiving it.” Mrs. Clark is thankful she has such a wonderful support system at Straley School. “I have been so extremely fortunate to work with such a dedicated, progressive-thinking, and talented staff at Straley (and previously at Thorn, Bluewell, and Princeton Primary), whom I have drawn great educational knowledge from and have been truly blessed to be able to collaborate and cooperate with on a daily basis—people that lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it.”
When Mrs. Clark was in school, Reading was her favorite subject. Her mother, Kathleen Coon, always held reading in high regard and impressed upon her
daughter the value and importance of reading at a very young age. She has wonderful memories of sitting side-by-side in their living room each evening and reading her assigned stories together. Her mother also kept her involved in summer reading programs at the Princeton Public Library, which she relished. She was also fortunate to have had exceptional teachers throughout her school career that reinforced and fostered her love of reading and education further.
Mrs. Clark’s advice to anyone thinking of becoming a teacher is to be willing to work hard, put your whole heart into the job, and be dedicated to doing your best. She adds they should also be willing to adapt to many situations and changes, knowing they are helping to shape the lives of the future and how rewarding it is to see the success (however big or small) of those that are left in your charge.
Mrs. Clark’s idea of a perfect school would be where there is unlimited funding to be able to purchase any type of item/resource that would benefit the learning realm for our students.
Please join Mercer County Schools in celebrating Pamela Clark!