Educator of the Week: Angela W. Cotton | Bonlee Shool

Posted 12/27/19

Grades/subjects you teach: K-8 exceptional children instructional assistant

E-mail address: acotton@chatham.k12.nc.us

Place of birth: Chatham Hospital, Chatham County

Education: Chatham …

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Educator of the Week: Angela W. Cotton | Bonlee Shool

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Posted

Grades/subjects you teach: K-8 exceptional children instructional assistant

E-mail address: acotton@chatham.k12.nc.us

Place of birth: Chatham Hospital, Chatham County

Education: Chatham Central High School, Central Carolina Community College, currently attending Ashford University obtaining bachelor’s degree in exceptional children specialized instruction (scheduled to graduate in 2021)

Brief work history: Employee of Chatham County Schools for 20 years

Honors/awards: Chatham County Schools Bus Driver of the Year in 2009 and 2017; first place among Chatham County Schools bus drivers in the 2018-19 North Carolina School Bus ROADeo; second place among District 2 bus drivers in the 2018-19 North Carolina School Bus ROADeo.

Hobbies/interests outside of educating: reading; cheerleading coach at Bonlee School

Family: mother of four children, wife of Warren Cotton

What led you to a career in education?: Volunteering in the schools, and working in a preschool setting.

Who were your favorite teachers as you went through school, and what did you learn from them?: My first-grade teacher here at Bonlee School — Mrs. Janet Buckner at the time, Mrs. Walters now — who set time aside to work with a student who was behind in learning, who made every child feel special and that they are the same in her classroom. Mrs. Etta Foushee, my seventh- and eighth-grade teacher here at Bonlee, taught me to never give up on my education. There was continuous praises from her on everything I accomplished in her classroom. She let students be students, did not nitpick at every little thing you did. She had a sweet, strict environment.

Has becoming an educator been all you expected it would be?: Yes.

How has education changed since you were a student?: The times have changed a lot over the years. I remember getting out of school at 2:25 p.m., and the high school went from six periods to semesters.

What “makes your day” as an educator?: The smiling faces, their excitement to tell me what they learned.

Best piece of advice for other educators?: Patience is the key, make your classroom feel welcome and let the students know that it is all right to ask questions on the lessons.

For students?: Ask questions, ask me to repeat when you need something shown twice to make sure you understand — it’s OK.

For parents?: Help your children become successful not only in academics but also in life; raise your children to be respectful, productive citizens.

If one of your students was asked for a one-word description of you by a student who hadn’t had you as an educator, what would that one word be?: Funny. Amazing. (Those are actual words from my cheerleaders). Sweet. Strict. Very good bus driver.

What five things must every educator know: Diversity, cultural awareness, the learning level of students, watch what you say on social media and do not touch a student inappropriately.

What’s special about your education space at your school?: Students are welcome to Mrs. Campbell’s and my room to calm down without being questioned about what happened.

What’s special about your school?: I grew up in the old building here at Bonlee. The environment is still the same — students come first. With needs outside of the classroom, Bonlee finds ways to reach out and help families who need help with their children.

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