(Colleton County School District is lucky to have many teachers and staff members that have risen to the challenge of educating our students during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. In this weekly series, we will feature some of our employees who have truly made a difference for children in this very difficult time.)
The second spotlight will focus on Cottageville Elementary School Pre-K teachers Zetoya Pinckney and Jessica Wagner.
Wagner works with a blended class of Pre-K students, while Pinckney teaches a virtual class. The two teachers work in tandem with each other to make sure their students receive a well-rounded introduction to the school environment, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is our students’ first introduction to school. If it’s a miserable time, they could hate school for years going forward,” Wagner said. “We are the foundation, and that’s what motivates me.”
Both Wagner and Pinckney said their approach to education is based on two key components: offering children tangible elements to benefit their learning process, and using exciting activities to keep children engaged.
“You always have to show the kids energy to keep their attention … you have to make it silly sometimes,” Pinckney said. “We make sure kids get the chance to sing and dance … we are entertainers as well as teachers.”
“It’s also important that our students have pencil in hand when they work,” Wagner added. “They need a tangible, physical component, or else they miss out on important skills. It’s one thing to be able to type an answer on a keyboard, but they need to know how to write it on a piece of paper as well.”
Both teachers said they love seeing their students grow.
“You can see the progress over time, you can see the change happening,” Pinckney said. “That’s the best reward.”