Editor’s note: This is the second installment of Q&As with the teachers who have been chosen by Limestone County Schools as teachers of the year. Future installments will tentatively appear in Saturday and Wednesday editions of The News Courier.
Name: Jamie Norris
School: Clements High School
Grade(s) taught: 7-12
Subject(s) taught: Family and Consumer Sciences
Post-secondary education: University of North Alabama, Bachelor of Science in Human and Environmental Sciences Education (December 2000); University of North Alabama, Masters of Science in Collaborative/Special Education (December 2008)
How many years have you been teaching? 20
How many of those are with Limestone County Schools? 14
What led you to choose your career path in education? I always knew I wanted to teach. My mother was a teacher, and so were 2 of my older sisters. My high school family and consumer sciences teacher, Lelia Blizzard, inspired me to go into family and consumer sciences. She was always supportive and encouraging. She helped me come out of my shell and become the person I am today by encouraging and supporting me. She motivated and inspired me to run as local, state, national officer for FCCLA. She helped develop my self confidence and because of her I am able to inspire my students in the same way today
Educators faced a lot of adversity in 2020. What is one way you grew professionally? Like many educators, I have become more proficient in technology. It may not have been the situation in which I wanted to learn but now I have more tools in my educator toolbox to better prepare my students. I have also become better at prioritizing the goals that are the most important for my students to achieve.
What do you enjoy most about working for Limestone County Schools? My students! I am thankful I can form lasting relationships that can begin in the 7th grade and continue on past graduation. I absolutely love when former students contact me to ask for advice or simply let me know what is going on in their lives. I also appreciate the support I get from the community and local school administrators. Knowing I am respected and treated as a professional allows me to be able to teach effectively.
What is one thing you accomplished this year that you are most proud of? I am proud of keeping my students as safe as possible and feeling cared for in the current world climate. We are all stressed and worried, but I want my classroom to always be a safe place both physically and emotionally. Even though this has been a trying year and we have had to socially distance and do things differently I have been able to develop relationships with my students. This gives them a safe adult they can trust and depend on in any situation.
Favorite book? “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein
Favorite hobby outside of teaching? I enjoy spending time with my family and reading.
What piece of advice do you always give your students? Be kind and believe in yourself. We never know the struggles others are facing or what a kind word or deed can mean to another person, so always try to be kind to one another. I always want my students to know they are worthy and capable of reaching the goals they set for themselves but they must believe in themselves.