Educators are, in the simplest words, people who inspire others to learn.
They are the ones who dedicate their life to teaching and guiding students of all ages and backgrounds. This perception has never been more true than in regards to this month's Springer Staff Spotlight, Carol Shumrick.
I may be getting ahead of myself in the order and flow of a typical interview but, in this case, jumping in at the middle just feels natural. One of my favorite questions to ask when learning more about my guest is “what three words do you think others would use to describe you?” This question never fails to disappoint even though, oddly enough, it’s not too difficult to predict these descriptors when thinking about our Springer staff. Let’s examine the “heart” of this spotlight educator and learn more about how Carol's teammates describe her (and worth noting…it’s more than three words).
If you have the pleasure of knowing and/or working with Carol, your head is probably shaking in affirmation when I write that she is dedicated, inspiring, a problem solver, consistent, and diplomatic. As a Springer mainstay who has worn varying hats and borne witness to many iterations of school structure during her tenure, Carol’s retelling of her path to Springer is just as varied.
Carol began her career after graduating from Vanderbilt University, however, she can’t pinpoint when or how she decided to get into education but, to her, “it was just a natural thing…I just sort of knew without even thinking about it.” She admits that she didn’t get hired the first time she applied for a teaching position at Springer, however with that dogged determination we all know and love, Carol returned to apply for the next year and, to our benefit, she hasn’t looked back.
Claiming almost 30 years at Springer, it is easy to envision the finely honed wealth of wisdom and advice one can amass, especially through roles of increasing responsibility and leadership. Carol’s rising star at Springer looks something like this (deep breath here)…primary level teacher, intermediate teacher, primary lead, intermediate lead, intermediate team leader and teacher, lower school team leader, lower school assistant principal, and finally her current role as Lower School Director. If it comes to the school, Carol has truly seen and done it all. And because of this experience, Carol offers this advice to teachers and parents… don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for help, and be sure to focus on helping the whole child in every facet of their needs.
In our modern times, we are often hard pressed to find someone who has stayed with one employer for so many years. When asked what has inspired her to keep going, Carol replied “I never looked at teaching as a job. I love what I do, which is not just a job teaching children, it also feels like I am doing something good for the community.” She also credits her longevity to the unpredictability of the environment. To Carol, there is never a boring day and always a challenge, which she enthusiastically embraces.
The heart of an educator is someone who dedicates their life to educating others. The heart of an educator is inspiring and diplomatic. The heart of an educator is a problem solver and is consistent in the work that they do for the betterment of the team and for their students. She is an inspiration personified because she sees the “beauty in everything,...from the students, to the teachers, and to the parents.
Carol Shumrick, most certainly, has the heart of an educator because she is dedicated to improving the quality of life for youth and families by creating an environment that offers hope, opportunity, and empowerment.
Blogger Lisa Bruns, M.Ed., Special Education, shares her expertise of students with learning disabilities. As a special educator, she has expert knowledge of interventions and accommodations that students may need to succeed in and out of the classroom. If you have questions, please contact Center Director Lisa Bruns at .