The educator says that teaching is a loving occupation
LUMBERTON — An educator says effective teaching involves giving students more than the information in textbooks.
Shannon Lowry is a third grade teacher at Pembroke Elementary School, where she has worked as an early childhood educator since 2013. She previously worked at Rex-Rennert Elementary School from 2007 to 2013.
“For me, the most important part of teaching is not just academics, but reaching the child as a whole. A child needs to know they are loved and safe before learning can be effective,” Lowry said in a statement.
Lowry also told The Robesonian that the profession taught him “you never stop learning.”
“To be the best educator you can be, you have to keep learning and growing,” she said.
Lowry also shared advice for future educators.
“It will be the hardest and most rewarding job you will ever have. When times get tough and they will, your students need you to do the way you want them to,” she said.
Lowry’s path to the classroom included twists and turns she hadn’t expected.
“Teaching was not the career I had planned for myself,” Lowry said.
She told The Robesonian that she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in molecular biology after graduating from college. But, her path would soon take a different trajectory when she entered the workforce.
“It was after I graduated that God opened doors that put me in day care and then into the More at Four Pre-K program,” Lowry said.
“It was during this time that I learned that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Watching children grow up and accomplish things they thought were impossible is more rewarding than anything I could have imagined. do,” she added.
When challenges come her way in the classroom, Lowry relies on her faith and her administrative team to help her, she said.
Lowry also told The Robesonian that it’s important for the public to encourage educators.
“Take the time to thank a teacher or do little things to let them know they matter. We are stressed from trying to teach, learning new materials, attending trainings and much more. Yet we still show up day after day because we love what we do. Most importantly, we love the students in our classrooms,” she said.
Lowry was also encouraged by her own students during her time as an educator.
Lowry, who also coaches and mentors other educators at her school, told The Robesonian that she was inspired by a kind gesture from a student when she needed it most.
“One week, I felt like I wasn’t giving the best of myself to my class. A student of mine overheard me mentioning this to a friend one afternoon. The next day the student arrived with a note she had written for me,” she said.
“In the note, she told me that I was a stronger woman than I thought. She also went on to say that teachers should be blessed if I help them become a great teacher like me. The little ones things like this note mean more than any store-bought gift. They help you through tough times and remind you why you do what you do,” Lowry said.
Lowry also told The Robesonian of a time when she attended a volleyball game to support one of her former third graders, during her senior year of high school.
“The moment I walked into the gym that night and she spotted me was a moment I will never forget. Seeing a former student running up the stands to hug you tight while crying to me reminds why I do this job,” Lowry said.
“She couldn’t believe that a former teacher cared enough to come and support her. I don’t just want to have an impact for a few months. I want my students to leave my class knowing that no matter how old they are, they will always be one of my children and I will always be one of their biggest fans,” Lowry added.
When Lowry isn’t in class, she can be found at her Pembroke home reading a good book or watching a baseball game.