Jennifer Frazier: A calling to teach
BY BRITTNEE NAVE
Jennifer Frazier realized when she was in college her true calling was to teach.
The Carter County Native attended Central Elementary as a child and then worked in the afterschool program when she attended Happy Valley High School and Milligan University.
According to Frazier, working in this after school program helped her realize her passion for teaching, despite going to college with a different aspiration initially.
“Working with the young students in kindergarten and first grade began fostering a love of teaching,” she said. “ I enjoyed planning and implementing lessons that motivated students to want to know more about the content. This made me realize my purpose was working with children in an educational setting.”
In addition to working with children, Frazier additionally attributed her decision to become an educator to teachers who had positively impacted her.
“I knew I wanted to be an encourager, comforter, and praiser of students, too,” she said.
For the past seven years, Frazier has taught at Central Elementary. She is married to her husband, David, and has a four-year-old daughter set to start attending the school this year as well. This year Frazier will be teaching a self-contained sixth-grade classroom.
For teaching, Frazier outlined her goals.
“My goals include doing what I can for students in order for them to achieve their goals; planning meaningful learning experiences that appeal to each type of learner; supporting the students in their learning process, and celebrating with the students upon their achievements,” she said.
Frazier is deeply invested in her students and their well-being. Her favorite aspect of teaching is watching their success stories, while her least favorite part is worrying for those that need support at home.
Frazier’s concern for student well-being has meshed with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have had many scares during this pandemic aside from worrying about my loved ones’ health, I have worried about my students,” she said. “I am thankful Carter County and other surrounding school systems made certain the students were fed each day, but I continue to be concerned about my students’ well-being.”
While Frazier says many were not prepared for the unprecedented switch to virtual last year, she believes this year will be a success nonetheless.
“I feel we have learned what works and what does not, and we are going to make this school year a successful one, regardless of how/where we have to teach/learn,” she said.
To her students, she had a message.
“Friends, this school year is going to be different from any other we have had,” she said. “However, we are still going to learn…and have fun doing it! I am here for you!”
Lastly, she had a message for the public.
“It is important for the public to know that teachers, in most cases, love teaching, and this situation has been difficult for us, as well,” she said. “Many teachers feel this is as a calling, not a career, and it is discouraging for us when we are unable to teach.”