Gail Webb Profiles in Pedagogy
Mercer County Schools celebrates Bluefield High School’s Mrs. Gail Webb as February’s Profiles in Pedagogy honoree for secondary! Mrs. Webb graduated from Bluefield College with a BA in Education in English and Theater, then went on to the University of Virginia to receive a PreK-12 gifted education endorsement, attended Radford University for a reading specialist endorsement for Prek-12, attended Fitchburg State University for a dyslexia practitioner license, and the University of Kansas for a Content Literacy Coach license.
Mrs. Webb has taught many years at Bluefield High School. She feels the relationships that teachers and students form during the course of a school year, or several school years, are priceless. Those relationships carry far more importance than subject matter (and those bonds enhance subject matter). She believes the camaraderie of educators is also invaluable. Teachers teach students, and teachers help teachers.
Something people outside of education may not understand is when students leave the classroom at the end of the year, regardless of subject or grade level, teachers grieve (and sometimes celebrate). Teachers may not remember students’ names, but they will remember where their students sat. When teachers shop in Walmart, they are famous (or infamous). Teachers, counselors, media specialists, principals, etc. Are in a league (or club) of their own. No matter what the occasion, the conversation shifts to students, lesson plans, or strategies. Most teachers are teachers because of a teacher.
Teaching during a pandemic has taught Mrs. Webb to be flexible. She enjoys working with technology, so it has been enjoyable for her to learn new platforms. She misses the energy of a full classroom, but she has found that a strong online teacher presence is almost as effective. She has also learned not to take it personally when she consistently calls parents of students who aren't attending TEAMS meetings and learns those parents have blocked her calls.
Mrs. Webb’s words of wisdom for anyone considering a career in education is go for it! “I encourage students to go into the teaching profession. Is it difficult? Absolutely! Is it rewarding? Definitely! When I finish my career (and my life), I can honestly say, ‘It’s been fun.’ And... before considering a career in teaching, read James 3:1.”
When she was a student, Mrs. Webb’s favorite subjects were English, speech, theater, and creative writing. She says, “I had inspiring teachers, and although I was sometimes into mischief, these teachers encouraged me.” She LOVES to read and enjoys writing, so English was so much fun. She still vividly remembers novels she studied in high school and literature she read in college, and she hopes her students remember some of the stories they have read and the discussions and writings that have accompanied those stories.
Mrs. Webb’s idea of the perfect school would entail time travel – pre-pandemic time travel. “Send me the student who slips her phone under her textbook (thinking I wouldn’t notice). Give me the boy who gets a friend to let him in the back door in the morning to avoid the tardy sweep. Beaver-Graham game (or Beaver-PikeView/Beaver-Princeton)? Bring it on! Let there be parents waiting in the pick-up line, students in pep rallies and theater productions, hallways ringing with laughter and chatter, and teachers meeting in the library. Let there be cupcakes in the classroom, donuts on the office counter, and, most importantly, let me see the sweet faces and mischievous grins of my students without masks. Perhaps we didn’t recognize perfect until we lost it.”
Please join Mercer County Schools in celebrating Mrs. Gail Webb! Thank you for everything you do for our students!