BIC Junior high teacher named Region 8 Teacher of the Month

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Nancy Spencer

Nancy Spencer, junior high teacher at Buffalo Island Central, was named Region 8 Teacher of the Month.

Spencer was nominated by a parent of one of seventh grade students. A Teacher of the Month is chosen by a committee.

Spencer has been with the BIC District for 11 years and has taught for two years.

She began her career at BIC with an internship in the superintendent's office in 2002 after graduating from Cotton Boll Technical Institute with certificates in Office Technology and Computer Information Technology. Following her internship, she substituted in the district. She was hired as a one-on-one special needs aide the following year. At that time she began to take online and night classes toward a degree.

Principal Randy Rose suggested she learn to drive a bus and acted as her bus driver's ed teacher, a job she still does. Eventually, the bus driving position, along with the afterhours secretarial work for the superintendent and principals allowed her to resign from her full time aide position and complete her degree in Mid-Level Education with an emphasis in Language Arts and Social Studies. She completed her teaching internship at Manila Middle School under the supervision of Janet Matheny and Lynda Taylor. She graduated from Arkansas State University in 2011. She served as in-school suspension facilitator for one year for Buffalo Island Central before entering the classroom to teach seventh and eighth grade English.

Spencer has reached many of her goals but she is continuing to set more goals and work toward them. She is working on a Masters degree in Library Media Science through UCA.

"I have long wanted to be at teacher. My first recollection of the idea is from the second semester of third grade," Spencer said. "I had just moved from Paragould to Oceanside, Calif., with my grandparents and our teacher asked us to write in our journals about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote I wanted to be a teacher, a bus driver and a principal because I wanted to know my students really well. Well, my dreams have altered a bit since then and have changed from principal to librarian. Bus drivers have always held a special place in my heart, probably because my first bus driver at Greene County Tech was my aunt, Faye Miller.

"I was apprehensive about moving and starting a new school, but it wasn't long until I realized teachers, those who take an interest in their students as people who have futures, are a common factor no matter where you live. At any school I have ever attended, I have always found at least one teacher or librarian who motivated and encouraged me to do or be whatever I wanted. When I moved back to Arkansas in the seventh grade, that teacher was my English teacher, Mrs. Lynda Edwards. She was the first to make college seem like more than an expensive, distant dream to me. She contacted ASU and acquired a scholarship for me to attend the Saturday Scholars program. Let me tell you, one taste of college and I was hooked. I wanted it more than anything. Right now, I teach in her old room and I have had the privilege of teaching one of her grandchildren each year. So, more than teaching life lessons, teachers leave a legacy whether they have the intention of doing so or not. I hope my students come away with the notion they should treat everyone with respect no matter their circumstances. We have two classroom rules. Rule one, express maturity. Rule two, show respect. My students and I decided last year any other rules we could think of for a classroom centered around those two ideas. The rules still stand this year."

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