At Parkview Village Elementary School, students and teachers alike understand that learning in the classroom involves more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. As an Expressive Arts Magnet School, Parkview also integrates visual arts, dance, theatre, music, media, and more into their core curriculum. And for Extraordinary Educator, Meagan Smoot, she herself has learned what it means for education to benefit the whole child.
“Parkview Village Elementary prides itself in ensuring that each student is not only taught academically but also artistically through the integrations of the ARTs in core subjects,” Meagan explains. “We utilize our school community to foster and nourish the development of all students, whether it’s through daily check-ins with the counselor, words of encouragement from the custodian, or even a friendly smile from the nutritional staff. Each stakeholder takes pride and joy in making sure that our students know that they are valued and loved.”
As the fifth-grade math and science teacher at Parkview, Meagan is described by her principal as passionate, engaging, skillful, and effective.
“Meagan is a caring teacher who is dedicated to student growth and achievement,” says Principal Crystal Gregory. “She helps students develop a love for learning.”
As for Meagan, she says she loves to expect the unexpected when it comes to walking into her classroom each day. Incorporating the idea of holistically teaching her students, Meagan works to incorporate relationship-building, various learning styles, and real-world experiences into her lessons.
“The reactions that I receive when I present new ideas and concepts to my young learners simply engrosses and motivates me to continue introducing them to the endless possibilities of what rich instruction can bring to the classroom each day,” she says.
Her love of teaching and math was first planted by her own math teacher in eighth grade, but since then that seed has been watered thanks to another High Point educator, Ms. Ingram. While some educators may find it hard to point to a specific person who so heavily influenced their teaching career, for Meagan, it’s easy to point to all the ways Ms. Ingram supported her in a variety of roles over the years.
Ms. Ingram has walked with Meagan through almost every aspect of her educational career. She was her Cooperating Teacher while Meagan was student teaching, she worked as Curriculum Facilitator alongside Meagan, and even served as Assistant Principal.
“During her role as my Assistant Principal, Ms. Ingram motivated and encouraged me to become a Teacher Leader by helping me extend my knowledge and expertise to other colleagues throughout the building,” Meagan explains. “Throughout this process, Ms. Ingram and I have worked side-by-side to implement schoolwide initiatives and approaches to teaching that have helped students develop a love for learning. Through the integration of dance, theatre, music, and art, we make learning fun and fulfilling for the students we’ve served.”
Ms. Ingram has guided and challenged Meagan to incorporate experiential learning and diverse teaching styles into her classroom, but she has also given Meagan the room to be her own educator.
“Ms. Ingram has had a major influence on my teaching experience as she has encouraged me to make teaching my own, give teaching my all, and be the very best teacher that I could be,” says Meagan.
Now when it comes to her own influence as a seasoned educator, Meagan is excited and ready to give back to her colleagues and students.
“What has surprised me about working as a teacher is learning the value and the impact of building relationships not only with my students but also my colleagues,” she says. “Building relationships with my colleagues has allowed me not only to share my level of expertise but also learn and grow in my profession and in my craft through shared learning experiences with my counterparts.”
When asked what one piece of advice she would share with her students, Meagan’s answer aligns with her own teachable nature she has prided herself on over the years as an educator.
“Growth is just as important as proficiency,” she says. “Celebrate the small victories towards your target because the more you own and acknowledge the smaller achievements, the more you’ll trust yourself to keep pushing and learning the skills needed to reach bigger goals.”
You can support Meagan and her students at Parkview Village Elementary, by contributing to her Extraordinary Educator Amazon Wishlist.
Discover our High Points,
The HPD Team
Photography by Maria West Photography