The Tuscaloosa native teaches third grade and has called Englewood Elementary her home for 22 years. She said she helps her students with more than their studies, and feels accomplished as a teacher when former students visit her and tell her their plans for the future.
“I have been led to inspire and mold children to help them accomplish, to them, unreachable goals and become someone they never imagined they could become,” she said.
Taylor said she has high expectations and is always transparent in her teaching style. She said she knows her children are more than capable of excellence.
“I am always clear with the rules of our classroom and our school. I am always straightforward from the beginning with the expectations I hold them to,” she said. “There are no secrets to how I work as a teacher. I have high expectations for all of my children. To me, they are all smart and very capable, and they can accomplish anything if they work hard. I want all of my classroom children to succeed, and if I have anything to do with it, they will.”
For teachers just beginning their journey, Taylor said teaching has to hold a special place in one’s heart. Focusing on the students is key while at the head of a classroom.
“I guess the best advice I would give to new teachers would be that this is a job that has to be your passion,” she said. “It is a job where the children should always come first. It’s about them and not you.”
Teaching is definitely worth the rewards, Taylor said. And if she wasn’t teaching, she’d still be working with children.
“If I were not a teacher I would be involved with adoptions and the process,” she said. “Adopting is so difficult and so expensive, and there are so many parents that would adopt if not for the expense.”
Parents who struggle to help their children with school should keep trying, Taylor said. As long as parents stay consistent, involved and positive, their children will grow.
“It is important for parents to have an open communication with their child’s teacher and to never, never give up on them,” she said.