by Kate Evans
Warm Springs Intermediate School fourth grade teacher Tia Myers was selected as the Morgan County Teacher of the Year at the April 16 Morgan County School Board meeting. Myers has been teaching at the intermediate school for 14 years.
Myers was in special education her first year of teaching at the intermediate school and was a reading and math specialist. Her second year she transitioned into teaching fourth grade.
Myers received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Alderson Broaddus College, (now Alderson Broaddus University), specializing in kindergarten through sixth grade. She has taken classes towards her master’s degree and continuing education classes at Shepherd University, West Virginia University and Concord University.
Myers struggled with math and had her homework marked incorrect even with the right answers because she hadn’t used the ‘proper’ way to solve the problem. Myers became “determined to make the discovery of learning better for future students.”
“Everyone learns in their own way and at their own pace. I am constantly telling my students that we each have a different way to view the problem. If students can get the correct answer each time and are able to explain their reasoning, they have a successful strategy,” she said.
Myers said she loves her job and working with kids. She feels she works with the best age group, since her students are so curious. Myers loves seeing kids learn something and their faces light up when they learn something new.
Myers likes using project-based lessons where students research and create something along with doing hands-on activities and having fun. She encourages her kids to be creative.
Myers’ class is taking a field trip to the National Zoo. She said her kids are learning about the history of zoos and how they started, having a class debate on the pros and cons of zoos, talking about animal habitats and Skyping with a zookeeper. Her students will also set up a business plan to run their own zoo, deciding the animals that would live there, the parameters of their enclosures and making a map of their proposed zoo.
It’s the tenth year for Myers’ watershed education program supported by a FAST grant. A Potomac Valley Audubon Society instructor teaches her class about water quality, the water cycle, the watershed and the importance of taking care of it. Students also do a complete field stream study at Stauffer’s Marsh in Hedgesville, look for macroinvertebrates and plant trees and wildflowers.
Myers is Faculty Senate secretary, a Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Core Team member, a mentor teacher, yearbook coordinator, team fundraising and event coordinator
for field trips and special activities and a counselor/mentor for MCAfter3 summer camp.
Myers said she is very appreciative of her Teacher of the Year award but noted it’s a team effort. She said she loves to read, travel and spend time with family.
Myers advised new teachers to not be afraid to ask for help and accept help.
“Asking for help was a hard lesson for me to learn. Teaching is a difficult profession and it can take a lot out of you. Remember to take time for yourself. We cannot provide the emotional, social and intellectual needs of our students if we are drained. Take the time to decompress, evaluate and nurture yourself,” Myers said.
Myers believes that her greatest accomplishment has been providing a sense of importance to the more than 400 children that have been in her classroom.
“It is important to me that I show each one of my ‘kids’ the love, respect and guidance they deserve while creating a nurturing sense of community that is open to positive support and reinforcement,” she said.
Warm Springs Intermediate School Principal Dudley Cable said of Myers: “Tia Myers is well-deserving of Teacher of the Year recognition. She brings a lot of enthusiasm to the classroom, and she brings out a lot of enthusiasm in students. She has many novel approaches that reflect research-based teaching. She is a model of how to teach project-based learning to engage students.”