COTTONWOOD – Eric Evans remembers the time he first realized he had a special teacher in Selyna Pringle.
“The first few moments of the first time that I walked into her very organized and academically focused classroom,” says Evans, principal at Cottonwood’s American Heritage Academy. “Her impact on her children in her classroom was immediate. She fit right into the loving culture and climate of AHA as a new teacher here.”
With 11 years of teaching under her belt, Pringle is in her first year at American Heritage. She says she was a small child when she first wanted to be a teacher – and an Avon lady.
“My mom had a friend who was a teacher and an Avon lady,” Pringle says. “I really looked up to Mrs. Crompton and admired her. From there on out, I decided I was going to be like her.”
Watching the students “grow over the school year” is what she most likes about teaching.
“Working with the students every day, and watching the week to week and month to month growth of each student,” she says. “Along with that, I love to see the lightbulb come on when students finally understand that tough reading or math concept.”
Though Evans applauds her “attention to detail,” Pringle is not a fan of grading papers.
“I would much rather spend my time on planning and implementing great hands on learning activities,” she says. “I am trying to work on a balance system between planning and grading.”
“I have a lot going on in my classroom. I try to use every possible minute of our time so that there is no time for students to get in trouble. In order to do this, I have to be very organized.
“The students know what the rules and expectations are, and we have certain routines that we practice every day. One philosophy I believe in is that everyone is doing everything. I want them all to be active learners and participants in class. I believe that the first thing that has to be established is classroom management.”
“I am a team player, willing to help out my co-workers any way I can. I focus on my kindness and helpfulness skills with everyone I have contact with.”
A quote from Robert John Meehan: “It shouldn’t matter how slowly a child learns as long as we are encouraging them not to stop.”
“The important part of teaching is making sure everyone is making progress. I love to have celebrations with each student and their parents and show how much they are progressing, and to keep trying their best.”
DID YOU KNOW?
“I spent five years teaching first grade in North Dakota. I taught in a K-12 school district where our district boundaries covered 90 miles. My husband, daughter, and I survived a horrific hail storm. This is when we decided to end our adventure and head back home to Arizona.”
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42