First-year teacher sees growth in her students

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; One more day.

That’s all Linda Hampton has with her babies. The second graders in Hampton’s Morgantown Elementary class will soon be third graders, and Hampton will have a new brood.

Hampton has completed her first year as a teacher and logged some valuable hours of experience.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;Very little that they teach you in the classroom prepares you for this,&uot; Hampton said. &uot;The beginning was so stressful.&uot;

As the only first-year teacher on the second-grade hall, Hampton had to forge her own path, but had a lot of help along the way, she said.

&uot;You are inventing the wheel,&uot; Hampton said. &uot;But everyone on the second-grade hall was great, especially Ms. Green.&uot;

Kathy Green, a 14-year Morgantown teacher, served as Hampton’s mentor this year as part of a district-wide mentoring program.

Prior to this year, Hampton had worked in the district for 18 years in the public relations office, in the parent resource center and as a teacher’s aide. But none of that fully prepared her for the challenges of being a teacher, she said.

&uot;Sometimes I really felt sorry for my class because I was new,&uot; Hampton said. &uot;I know some mistakes I’ve made, and I’ll try my best to fix them.&uot;

But it is unlikely the students noticed those mistakes.

&uot;She let’s us color and she taught me how to add and subtract,&uot; said Jerry Penton, 7.

Hampton admits she’s seen her students learn.

&uot;It is exciting to see them develop,&uot; she said. &uot;I’ve seen growth in all of them.

&uot;I hope to be a little more confident next year. If you make it through the first year, the next year has to be a breeze.&uot;

Only one of Hampton’s 15 students will repeat the second grade.

The students have learned math skills from addition and subtraction to multiplication, phonics, social studies and science. Thursday the lesson was on synonyms, but it was baby stuff, the children said.

&uot;If you think this is baby stuff, then you are ready for the third grade,&uot; Hampton told them. &uot;Every one of you made a 100. I’m so proud of you.&uot;