Suzanne Price, first-grade teacher at Timberland Charter Academy, believes in her heart that every student can learn. After five years of teaching at Timberland, her passion for student success only grows stronger.
“I believe all kids can learn regardless of who they are,” said Ms. Price. “They just need the right conditions and the right time. That’s my philosophy.”
When Ms. Price was a student, she didn’t think learning was fun. She didn’t feel like she had a teacher who understood her or where she struggled. So as an adult, she went back to school and majored in education, striving to be the educator she needed as a child.
“If you were to judge me for what you saw in me as a young student, you would not think that I would want to grow up to be a teacher,” said Ms. Price. “Many years later, I can say I became a lover of learning.”
She now has her Master’s in Educational Leadership. Through her college experiences, she learned about shared leadership, which she shared is a style of leadership that helps others to achieve more than what they thought they could.
“When I read about that leadership style it stuck with me. It fit me and it was another step in being ‘that one teacher’. But now as coordinator of before/after school tutoring and summer school, I can be the leader that helps other teachers who are able to help even more students,” said Ms. Price. “Getting an education takes time and many hands. My goal is to keep reaching every day. I do not know how many lives I have touched or how many more I have yet to touch, but one thing I know is that I am going to keep trying every day so that young learners can have the best experience possible.”
Ms. Price’s passion for aiding students who need extra help drives her as a coordinator for Timberland’s before and after school tutoring programs for the past four years. These programs give students an hour of small-group instruction five days a week, providing them a chance to remove gaps in their learning. Ms. Price believes the program has helped many students achieve their next level of learning.
“Teachers in this program get the chance to see many of those ‘I get it’ moments,” said Ms. Price. “It is a privilege to work with these students. Timberland is proud of these students and the effort that they are willing to put into their own learning success.”
Ms. Price is also coordinating the school’s summer program, which will give students an additional way to fill the gaps in learning that may have happened during the school year.
“The pandemic has created a learning barrier for our students,” she said. “The last year has been both frustrating and exciting. Frustration because of the time students have missed in the classroom due to hybrid and virtual learning. The one thing that students need the most is time, and the pandemic is causing a reduction in in-person learning. Yet, it has been exciting because of one-to-one technology. Student Chromebooks are used at school and home to enhance the learning process.”
She also started a tutoring business in 2004 named Kids 4 Learning after noticing students in her community were struggling with learning and needed extra help.
“Once again, that passion within me was stirred and I had to help,” said Ms. Price. “I could not just sit back and watch. I was determined to be that one person who would stop and help. I truly believe that all children want to learn, but sometimes they get stuck and need a little extra help. Kids 4 Learning is one way I can help my community and help students to become excellent learners. The look on a child’s face when they ‘get it’ is priceless. It is a moment in time that can and is easily missed, but when a struggling student finally figures out what they are missing and can make connections in their learning, then I know I have reached my goal. Then I know that that student got the help they needed and maybe – just maybe – I helped to open their learning box.”
She is one of many incredible teachers at Timberland, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by school leadership. “We have so many outstanding educational providers with Timberland Charter Academy, Ms. Price is one of them,” said Stephen Evans, principal at Timberland. “There is no doubt as to her commitment to National Heritage Academies, Timberland, our community, parents, and students.”
Ms. Price wants thanks the Timberland staff for daily collaboration and teamwork that makes Timberland a great place to work. She also thanks the Timberland students and families for trusting her and her fellow teachers to be “that one teacher” that stops and helps.
“Timberland believes in you and we are ready to see you through your educational experience,” said Ms. Price.
Keep up the incredible work, Ms. Price!
Timberland Educator Believes All Students Can Learn
Published: May 27, 2021Haley Ketchum
Haley is a communications specialist who enjoys nature. She’s also just trying to keep her office plants alive.