Jamie Powell

White Knoll High School

 

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

 

A typical day for me looks like me doing whatever is needed that day to support leading, teaching, and learning on my campus. This ranges from leading an Instructional Team meeting, facilitating professional learning, being a member of a data analysis team, listening to a teacher talk through his or her challenges or feelings, mentoring an induction teacher, observing a lesson, giving feedback through a coaching session, facilitating a book study, coordinating our professional learning program, to simply being available if someone needs help. Days are never really truly the same for me, and I enjoy having the flexibility to be a valuable resource and support for our teachers and students.

 

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

 

By placing yourself in proximity to a learner’s humanity and seeing him or her as an

individual, you open up endless possibilities for potential and direction in learning.

3.) Why did you become an educator?

 

I became an educator because I love to serve others in a way that seeks out individual potential and possibility in them and helps to develop those things in a way that a person leaves me as an even better version of themselves than when they first encountered me.

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

 

My desire is to be able to look around me and see where need intersects with the gifts I

have to be able to serve and support. It is in that service and support that I will be able to help other educators have a positive impact on student learning. Whether that is through facilitating professional learning myself or coordinating the effort so that educators and leaders can network and have access to resources and opportunities, I desire to do whatever I can to help better my colleagues throughout the state of South Carolina so that the students in all parts of our state can have equitable access and opportunity in learning.

 

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

 

The most impactful professional learning that I do comes in two forms. The first is when I read. Whether that is an article, blog, or book, the more that I read, the more than my thoughts and ideas are challenged and grown. The second is when I learn with colleagues. That can be through a coaching cycle, a book study, or a course. When I am able to listen to others and learn alongside those with whom I work, I grow immensely.

           

 

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

 

I don’t know that I can narrow it down to one time. There are countless times that I have seen a student or a teacher realize potential that he or she did not know they had, or I have seen a student or teacher be successful and be celebrated in their success. When I am part of the growth that leads to these moments, when I am part of the support that leads to these moments, when I am part of the learning that leads to these moments...this is when I know that I have chosen the right career path This is when I know that I am where I am meant to be. My heart soars when people around me are able to celebrate success. I could not imagine being in a career where I did not get to support and encourage people daily.

 

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

 

I believe that some of the most significant changes to education will come in the form of changes to the structure of education. Whether that is revamping what “seat time” looks like, the structure of a school day, the pathway to graduation, or just simply providing more options to more students, I believe that we have to become innovative with the structure of school in order to support the innovative instruction and learning that we are asking for in our classrooms.

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

 

My most rewarding experience as an educator is seeing those around me succeed and be celebrated.

Eight Questions For SCASCD Emerging Leaders

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