GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Growing up Shanda Hamm was the girl who liked to play teacher.
“My dad always reminds me you did it to your siblings too, so I would make them my pupils and line them up as well. It was always in me,” Hamm said.
Over the years, she knew it was more than an act.
Hamm, who grew up in Greensboro and is a product of Guilford County Schools, now stands in front of the classroom.
She is a math teacher at the Early Middle College at GTCC Greensboro.
She loves math, but she knows that’s not every student’s story.
“My goal is not necessarily to create mathematicians, my goal is not necessarily for them to fall in love with math like I do, but to build confidence,” Hamm said.
Her ability to remove fear and frustration led to some impressive results.
“In the last couple of years my students have scored in the 90s in terms of proficiency and so I appreciate that. Just last year, all threes and fours and fives, nobody got a level one or two,” she said. “Test scores are great, but just seeing their growth is so important to me.”
Hamm was named Guilford County Schools Teacher of the Year at the 2017 Celebration of Excellence.
“We don’t always get to see the fruit of our labor, so to have this honor in a moment like this is a true treasure and I thank you for that,” Hamm said during her acceptance speech.
That night of the awards ceremony, she thanked God for placing the call to teach in her heart.
She also thanked her family, GCS administrators and school board members, and her school colleagues.
Hamm says everyday may not feel like a Teacher of the Year kind of day, but having another day to impact a child’s life is worth it.
“That’s why I stay in it because I always believe that I have something to give, something to offer, so I just get up again and do it the next day.”
Hamm is now a nominee for the regional Teacher of the Year title.