PECPS Teacher of the Year delivers Convocation address

Published 6:05 pm Thursday, August 13, 2015

Prince Edward County Public Schools faculty and staff gathered for the annual PECPS Convocation where they renewed working relationships after the summer break and got ready to begin the 2015-2016 school year.  Division Teacher of the Year Susan Moore delivered an inspiring keynote address.

Moore, who teaches Pre-Kindergarten at Prince Edward County Elementary School, has 28 years of teaching experience.  This is her twelfth year with PECPS.  She is a graduate of Longwood University.

In her speech, she advocated for educators working together in “dynamic school teams” in order to address the many unique needs of individual students.

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“Whether it is school-wide planning, or collaboration among and across grade levels, the synergy of teachers working together results in better learning outcomes for children,” she said, as she segued into a condensed version of her own early years in school. 

Susan Moore was not, in her own estimation, the perfect student, and her humorous recollection of her education served as a reminder of how many different types of learners sit in our classrooms each day, as they always have, with distinct learning styles and educational needs. 

“I was a great ‘average’ kid,” she said, “full of life, inquisitive, impulsive, competitive, easily distracted.” 

She went on to describe how she was led into her career in education through her own experiences and how volunteer work compelled her to help others.  Moore recalled her first day as a teacher 28 years ago. She stood terrified in the doorway to her empty classroom, ready to turn and run, when she heard the voice of her first-grade teacher: “Do what you love, love what you do. Whatever path you choose, do it well.”  This gave her the strength she needed to take command of that classroom, and she never turned back. 

Moore went on to explain how her passion for teaching has been her driving force for 28 years, how it inspires her to be innovative and encouraging, how it motivates her to motivate her students to learn and, moreover, learn how to learn. 

“It keeps me grounded.  It enables me to break away from routine and be creative.  It is all about taking risks for the love of my children. I have a passion to instill in every child the love of learning, self-worth, and pride of accomplishment,” she said.

In her conclusion, Moore used her own story to demonstrate how Teacher of the Year is representative of all teachers in a school division. 

“My attitude toward teaching has evolved as one of my grandmother’s crocheted quilts evolved, one stitch at a time. With one single thread, a quilt cannot be complete.  We must remember that we are all one small stitch in the lives of our children each day.,” she said.  “We need to look back and examine the whole work of art, and know that each one of us is a unique artist.  We need to collaborate as teams, schools, a district, and a community, all working together to create self-confidence, friendships, and lifelong learning.  I realize that my grandmother did not just crochet a beautiful quilt but a metaphorical heirloom that I wrap tightly around myself and my children every day.”

Susan Moore will represent Prince Edward County Public Schools in the regional Teacher of the Year competition, with the winner being announced in the fall.