New math teacher Kelly Workman has been teaching for 10 years, but she is a newcomer to Northwood. During her career she has taught in several different schools, moving with her husband across state lines with each new position. Workman taught for five years in North Carolina, two years in Kentucky and two years in Virginia. She has now returned to teach in North Carolina again.
“Hopefully, we are here to stay,” Workman said. “I’m from North Carolina originally…. [I] grew up in Davidson County, which is about an hour west of here.”
Workman went on to say that coming back to North Carolina “was like coming home.” Her first teaching position was close to home at the high school she attended as a student. In fact, her own brother attended the same school for part of the time she spent there as a teacher.
Junior Zoe Kaegi, a student in Workman’s Precalculus Honors class, praised her and her teaching style.
“She’s one of the best math teachers I’ve ever had,” Kaegi said. “Unlike some of my teachers in the past, who just glazed over everything, she makes sure you get it,” Kaegi said. “She does this thing where she puts the name of the top five people in the class on the wall to create competition in the class and influence you to do better.”
The reason that Workman began teaching back home was the fact that during her education at UNC-Charlotte she became a teaching fellow, earning a scholarship in return for teaching in the state of North Carolina.
Long before she became a teaching fellow, several things from her past influenced Workman’s decision to become a teacher.
“My grandmother was a principal, so, growing up, I spent a lot of my time visiting her at school, and when I was in early elementary, I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” Workman said.
Though Workman knew she was interested in teaching, she did not know what subject she wanted to teach. However, she made her decision while she was in college.
“I’d always been really good at math; and I knew that there was a shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers, and I knew that [they] were needed, so I went to college and decided I would major in math,” Workman said.
Workman added that math was her favorite subject in school, which also influenced her decision.
“I’d rather do math problems all day than have to write,” Workman said. “I would say that math was my favorite [subject] and that English—sorry English teachers—was my least favorite.”
That being said, Workman did say that reading was one of her favorite pastimes.
“Mostly my [favorite stories] are mysteries, so I would say that is my favorite genre, but I’m not really opposed to much,” Workman said.
Workman’s first impressions of Northwood have been very positive.
“[My experience at Northwood so far] has been really good,” Workman said. “I think the kids are excellent, the teachers are really supportive, and the administration is wonderful. All the students are really involved and want to do well, which makes my job more enjoyable.”
– By Colin Battis & Jasmine Wilkie