David Blackwell - May/June 2020





Second Chances and Heroic Teachers

“Schools, and the professionals who work in them, are about much more than reading and math … they drive success on many different levels.” At USC Lancaster, some students are unsure if college is right for them. They wonder: Should I continue college, go to trade school, or go get a job? Other students go back and forth deciding on their career path. Some of my students are just like I was back in college: They struggle to adjust, have bad study habits, or don’t really know what their options are. When I come across those students, I share the tools I learned that helped me with my second chance — some are straightforward things like how to make an outline, how to maximize test-taking strategies, or just how to make it through school with a decent GPA. I figure if these things helped me, they might help my students, too. National Teacher Appreciation Week begins May 4. My wife taught for many years, then worked as a principal, and today she is a director of elementary education. As I am writing this, school teachers are working I attended Wofford College for one semester but did not get to go back because I messed up. I got a second chance, however, at the University of South Carolina Lancaster campus. After a couple of years, I reapplied to Wofford College so I could finish what I started and graduated with a degree in accounting. I am thankful for second chances and now teach one course at the University of SC Lancaster campus, offering young people the same second chance I was offered. After graduation, I first worked with a bank, then a computer software company, and finally a marketing firm. I went to law school because I was sued and had a horrible lawyer, but thankfully, the fellow on the other side was worse, so I decided I could do better than them. I got my law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. My second chance eventually worked out for me.

early this morning to prepare two weeks of lesson plans to be taught remotely. They’re working hard to figure out how to continue feeding their students who count on school breakfasts and lunches during the mandated closure. Schools, and the professionals who work in them, are about much more than reading and math. They’re a focal point for our whole community, and they drive success on many different levels. Even right down to the situation the nation finds itself in right now with this pandemic, schools have figured out how to keep going. The politicians are floundering. Parents might even be painfully relearning what teachers go through daily. But the teachers have it under control.

We, along with our nonprofit, Justice4Kids, truly value the contributions our teachers make to this community. Let us know how we can help!




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