Kristen Eubanks

Bridge Creek Elementary

 

1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?

My days recently have not been so very typical with e-learning. However, as a building principal, whether e-learning or a traditional day at school, my role is to be present and supportive to all stakeholders. 

When we are physically on campus, I am outside in the mornings greeting students, teachers, and parents as they enter and head straight to our morning show. Afterwards, I stop by each classroom to say good morning. I walk the hallways throughout the day, visit the cafeteria, playground, and classrooms regularly. I love interacting with our students and teachers. I attend meetings to best support our students and teachers. At the end of the day, I head to the hallways to say goodbye. I tend to land in the car rider area and help with dismissal. On Monday afternoons, we meet with our team for either a faculty meeting, virtual faculty meeting, PD plaground, STEAM-M, Team Leaders or AVID meeting. 

During e-learning, I participate in several Google Meets each day and enjoy seeing the students and teachers. I participate as guest or special visitor quite frequently. I meet virtually with teachers and parents to stay connected. Once per month, we have evening faculty gatherings virtually. I believe that no matter where you are, it’s important to stay connected.

2.)  What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?

 

My motto and our school’s motto is “every child, every chance, every day”. 

3.) Why did you become an educator?

 

My Bachelor’s Degree is in Chemcial Engineering. However, one summer in college, I worked at a pre-school. I absolutely fell in love the students and with teaching. I never found that same fulfillment as a Safety Engineer. After much thought and prayer, I decided to follow my heart and pursue my calling to teach. It was the best decision that I have ever made!

4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?

 

These are unprecedented times in education. As a society, we are dealing with the struggles of continued injustices in our world, in addition to COVID 19 and school closures. This is a lot for everyone, but I believe this is particularly difficult for our children to process and navigate these realities. It is my hope that as a collective group of Emerging Leaders, we can work together to navigate some of these big issues to make this upcoming year the best yet for our children.   

 

5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?

 

While I have read many books, listened to podcasts, and attended webinars, the professional learning experiences that have made the most difference in my career were face to face conferences with embedded time to collaborate with others. One of my most memorable experiences was the SLEI experience through the State Department. 

6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.   

 

I was a teacher at the time, and it happened to be the day we were having a Palmetto’s Finest visit. I had a particularly challenging student in my classroom. The student started tantruming just as one of the visitors walked our way. I remember feeling so embarrassed. Thankfully, I was able to calmly direct him back inside where I could listen to his need privately. He complied and we were able to solve his problem. I realized at that moment the importance of having positive and mutually respectful relationships with students. He trusted me to help him and I did, of course. That particicular moment solidified my calling to be an educator.

To this day, this student has an extra special place in my heart. He saw me unexpectedly years later and I still remember the look on his face when he first saw me as he ran over to give me a hug. It meant the world to me.

 

7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?

 

If I could change one thing in education, I would remove barriers that create equity challenges for our children. My goal would be to help children living in disadvantaged communities have an equal opportunity to experience success. While this would require 

strong community partnerships, funding, proper resource allocation, and many other things, it is ultimately the right thing to do for our children. 

 

8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?

 

One of the most rewarding experiences as a principal has been watching our our culture and climate shift as we have become a whole school magnet. We were once a school that children and families did not want to attend. Now, many more students from our community as well as those outside our community choose to come to our school. There is an overwhelming sense of pride at MED at BCE now. While it has been hard work and we are still working to grow and improve, this process of becoming a whole school magnet has been very rewarding.

Eight Questions For SCASCD Emerging Leaders

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