When Angela Adams tells people she teaches middle school, they often respond “bless you.”
But the Berkeley County School District’s new Teacher of the Year says she wouldn’t dream of doing anything else.
Adams, a science teacher at Hanahan Middle School, has a theory about what it takes to teach at each level. “All teaching takes the same amount of work,” she said. But elementary school teachers need to enjoy the hands-on, physical elements of teaching. High school teachers need to focus on intellectual aspects and master the subjects they teach.
Middle school teachers need to the have skills to make an emotional investment in children, she said. “It’s a little more touchy-feely.”
Adams was selected today over two other finalists at a breakfast honoring the top teachers from each of the district’s 40 schools at Trident Technical College.
Middle-schoolers, she said, are in a state of flux. In the middle grades, teachers get a glimpse of who their students will become as adults.
“We get to write on the slate of the lives of these small children,” Adams said. “That’s no small task.”
Hanahan Middle principal Robin Rogers said he’s not surprised Adams was selected. “Nothing ruffles her feathers. She’s always prepared, and she’s very competitive,” he said. She wants what is best for the school and its students.
“She’s an excellent teacher doing an excellent job day in and day out,” Rogers said.
Adams began teaching science at Hanahan Middle three years ago, after teaching science for 10 years at Gettys Middle School in Easley.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Clemson University and a master’s in education from Southern Wesleyan University. She also has earned National Board Certification, teaching’s highest credential.
Adams was eager to return to Hanahan Middle after the breakfast to tell her students she had one. They became a part of the process by following her path so closely, she said. “They think they are all up for Teacher of the Year.”
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491.