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oldteach300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 08/25/2008 - 4:19pm.

Students in our area are heading back to the classroom this week, and that means time for teachers to get back to work, too. Andee Woodcock knows a thing or two about teaching, she has taught everything from math to English at the middle and high school levels for 35 years. When asked what made her become a teacher, Woodcock said, "That's been too long ago for me to remember, but I know what's kept me in it for 35 years is I enjoy working with the students, and I want them to take something from me that they can keep with them always." Woodcock has spent her entire teaching career in the Pender County school system. She thought she could leave the classroom behind when she retired a few years ago, but her passion for teaching brought her back. "It's very difficult to do what we do, but teachers are very passionate people and we hang in there even when it's tough," said Woodcock. Just a few classrooms down, Veverly Lofton is preparing for her first year as a teacher. She never thought she would teach after spending the past 20 years working in a lucrative career in pharmaceutical research, but she took that experience and became a high school science teacher. "I finally decided to take the plunge and I did it," said Lofton. Lofton has spent hours preparing lesson plans and decorating her new classroom with one slogan she expects of her students. Lofton said, "We find that many of our children don't dream, they are limited to their immediate exposure and so I want to develop that and I want them to know that they can anything they want to do." As a teaching veteran, Woodcock has some advice for her new colleague. "You have to believe in your students and you have to make them believe in themselves. My goal is to play on those strengths and develop those weaknesses and to see them become successful."

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