BLADENBORO, NC (WWAY) — Students in Lauren Young’s English class are encouraged to do more than simply skim the surface of what they read and explore the context in which key works of literature were written.
A teacher at West Bladen High School in Bladenboro, Young teaches all grades at the high school.
“I love when children get it,” Young said. “I love when they really understand something.”
WWAY received a nomination from someone who told us that Young is extremely passionate about teaching literature and takes on numerous roles at the school.
That’s why we selected this 16-year teaching veteran as WWAY and Mattress & Furniture Liquidators ‘Teacher of the Week.’
Young says her philosophy for teaching is simple.
“Everyone should be treated equally, everyone should be treated with love and care and respect,” she said. “I think you can reach people who maybe have had difficult situations, difficult circumstances, you can reach those going down a wrong path by treating them in a loving manner.”
If you spend a little time in her class, you’ll soon discover how much she loves teaching literature.
She recalls one time while leading class a student raised her hand and asked if Young loved literature to which she replied, “I absolutely do and if I don’t love it — then how in the world do I expect you to love it?”
So what does she think about being recognized as ‘Teacher of the Week’?
“It was so unexpected and I know so many other teachers who are so deserving that just kind of let me know, you’re doing something right,” she said.
Young also leads journalism club which produces the school’s annual yearbook and she serves as a Beta Club co-sponsor.
In addition to teaching, Principal Peggy Hester says educators also have to be attuned to their students’ emotional and physical needs.
“These kids come to school each day with things you can’t imagine, needs that are very real,” Hester said.
For example, 71 percent of the students at the school now qualify for state of federal assistance as a result of Hurricane Florence which Hester says is a significant increase from what the school has seen in the past.
“They come with real needs that have to be met and teachers know that and understand meeting those physical needs first,” she said. “This is so vital to what we do so they [students] can learn, they can know they’re in a safe place and a nurturing environment.”
Years from now, when Young’s students reflect back on their time at the school and her class, she hopes they remember three things.
“The compassion that I have, the way that I treat others and my work ethic,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re going to dig a ditch, you dig the best ditch you can dig! Whatever you’re going to do, you give it your best.”
If you would like to nominate an exceptional teacher, click here. Remember, each week’s winner receives a $100 gift card from WWAY and Mattress & Furniture Liquidators.