Educator of the Week: Rose Pate | Jordan-Matthews High School

Posted 11/29/19

Grades/subjects you teach: Media Coordinator (also known as “Librarian”)

E-mail address:

Date, place of birth: Jacksonville, Florida, in 1957.

Education: …

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Educator of the Week: Rose Pate | Jordan-Matthews High School

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Grades/subjects you teach: Media Coordinator (also known as “Librarian”)

E-mail address:

Date, place of birth: Jacksonville, Florida, in 1957.

Education: Southside High School, Southside, Alabama; Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia; UNC-Chapel Hill, M.S.L.S. in 1981.

Brief work history: Started at J-M in the fall of 1981...and been here ever since!

Honors/awards: National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Certification, ECYA/LM

Hobbies/interests outside of educating: Reading, travel, musical theatre. I also spend a lot of time working with JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation. We work to support arts education here at JM.

Family: Husband Chip and son, Kirby.

What led you to a career in education? I worked two summers in college as a residence counselor for the Georgia equivalent of Governor’s School, and realized I liked working with teenagers.

Who were your favorite teachers as you went through school, and what did you learn from them? High school: Donald Vinson. I learned how important it was to go the extra mile to advocate for the best educational experience for kids. College: Marcile Taylor. In her American History course, I learned how to study.

Has becoming an educator been all you expected it would be? Oh, yes — and more.

How has education changed since you were a student? Everything is different, and yet the same. We are still reading, thinking, looking for information and writing — even if our tools are different.

What “makes your day” as an educator? When a student says, “I loved this book!”

What’s working in schools today? Teachers caring about students, not only about how much they learn, but the people they are growing to be and what kind of lives they will have.

What’s not working? We sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the challenges our students face.

What’s your favorite memory of your first year in education? Making friends with other young teachers. Those relationships were my lifesaver!

How would your “educator” persona handle you as a student? Pretty easily, because I liked school, and I was good at it.

Best piece of advice for other educators? Most students will NOT be like you! They may not be good at school, which means they don’t enjoy it. Have patience.

For students? Trust your teachers — they’ve thought carefully about what experiences you need to learn.

For parents? Let your goal be to develop independence and responsibility. If those are in place, the grades will follow.

What about your job would most surprise your friends who are not educators? How much variety there is in every day.

If you could somehow magically instill one truth into the heads of your students, what would it be? The decisions you are making today will impact the rest of your life.

When you think about today’s kids, you: Realize that they face the same development challenges teens always have: finding their identity and developing independence.

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? Old.

Favorite movie about school or education: Booksmart

How would you summarize your philosophy as an educator? Do hard things — it’s the only way to grow.

What five things must every educator know?

1. Everybody is somebody’s baby.

2. Anger is only effective if it’s in defense of someone else — not yourself.

3. Be nice to the custodians.

4. Be an engaged citizen and advocate for education.

5. We are not churning out test scores; we are building our community.

What’s special about your education space at your school? It’s flexible! In one week we can go from a library to a classroom to a concert venue to a meeting space.

What’s special about your school? Our staff really cares about our students, and about each other.

Most unusual question you’ve ever gotten from a student? Too many to remember!


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