Being effectively silly

Mar. 11—The Lebanon Democrat is in the process of running question-and-answer profiles of the Wilson County educators who have been selected as the teacher of the year in their respective schools.

Those individuals, from the Wilson County School System and the Lebanon Special School District (in addition to two of the county's private schools), are in contention for the Wilson County Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced later this spring.

The series of profiles continues with a glance at Pat Wilson, a third-grade teacher at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy ...

Name:Pat Wilson

School: Mt. Juliet Christian Academy

Age: 57

What grade/subject do you teach? I teach 3rd grade which includes all subjects.

How long have you been in education? 20 years

How many years have you taught at your current school? 20 years

What other schools have you taught at prior to your current school? None

What is something unique about you — whether it's a hobby, skill or past accomplishment — that most people likely wouldn't be aware of? Before entering the education field, I studied to be a sports broadcaster.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time (hobbies, etc.)? It's spending time with family, reading, and taking walks.

How would you describe your teaching style? I love to do hands-on projects with my students. I am very active and dynamic in the sense that I move around a lot while I am teaching.

Could you share a couple of strategies for how you keep students engaged and motivated? In today's society, social media has presented great opportunities and great challenges for the classroom teacher. It can be at times difficult to keep a student engaged.

Have you ever encountered a challenge in teaching that required you to rethink your teaching methods and/or approach? Yes, of course. Each student is different, and each year, it is a new beginning on how to help each individual succeed.

What is different, unique and/or enjoyable about the school that you are currently teaching at? I love my school. We are a close-knit community. Since we are a Christian school, I also have the privilege of sharing the love of Christ with my students.

Why did you choose teaching as a career path? I love to see the students when they are excited about the topic. I also want to make an impact on each student that they will love learning as well.

What is the most fulfilling part of teaching? It's seeing the light come in the minds of students when they understand the material.

What is the most challenging part of teaching? It's meeting all the needs of each level of learning of the students.

How has your view of teaching changed since you first embarked on your teaching career? It is a wonderful job, and I am honored to teach. There are times that we face difficulties, but this is true with all jobs.

How have you seen the profession change over the course of your career, and how do you see it continuing to evolve going forward? Of course, the internet has made a major difference. I see this continuing in the future as well. It brings resources into the classroom that we did not have in the past.

If there was any one variable that you could control or enhance to help with the educational process, what would that be and why? I would love to see more resources going to teachers so that they can rise to their full potential.

Who is somebody who has been especially impactful in your teaching career, and why did he/she make such an impact on you? Mr. Kenneth Watts. He introduced me to teaching, and I never looked back. He is always checking on me and has always been a wonderful encouragement.

Could you share what has been one of your most memorable moments in teaching? This one is hard to answer. I think one of my greatest joys is when I see one of my former students walking across the stage to receive their diploma, and they make a point to come thank me for being a part of their life.

What is the most meaningful thing a student could say to you? "I remember when ..." ... and they go on to tell a story of how I had sung a song or done something else to get a point across. This shows me that what I did (no matter how silly it was) actually did make a difference.

How would you ideally like to be characterized or remembered as a teacher? She made learning fun, and we loved being in her class.