The business of teachingPublished 9:40pm Thursday, June 13, 2013
When Sharon Waters first walked into a classroom to substitute teach 13 years ago, her life changed for the better.
“I loved it so much,” she said. “I never looked back; I decided that’s what I want to do, and should have done a long time ago.”
This month, the business education teacher at King’s Fork Middle School won Outstanding Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year, an award bestowed by the Suffolk CTE Advisory Council.
“I was completely surprised, and just so honored,” Waters said.
Waters’ transition to the classroom from a private-sector career in accounting and banking, which she had started straight out of high school, was encouraged by friends, she said.
They had suggested that “because I love children so much,” teaching might suit her.
“I had not thought about that,” Waters said.
She was hired as King’s Fork Middle School’s business education teacher in 2005, after earning her teaching license, and has since earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in educational leadership from Old Dominion University. She had previously earned an accounting degree.
Waters said Suffolk public school students are fortunate to have a lot of practical courses to choose from teaching financial responsibility.
“I think students today are better prepared than they ever have been before, as far as being ready for college or careers,” she said.
She advised any private sector professional considering becoming an educator to contact their local school division.
“Talk to them about substitute teaching, to find out if that is something for you,” she said. “For myself, I loved it. I walked into that classroom, and by the end of the day I was so excited.”
Lakeland High School senior Jared Bass received the advisory council’s Outstanding CTE Student of the Year award, a news release states.
Bass, who has studied agriculture, will attend Virginia Tech in the fall. He served as his school’s Future Farmers of America president, and has taken advantage of many mostly agriculture-related opportunities.
Waters, meanwhile, who teaches keyboarding and computer solutions, serves as advisor for the middle school’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter.
She said she loves working with the students. “When I walk into the building, from the time I get here to the time I leave, it’s just exciting,” she said.
“And my colleagues are wonderful to work with and the administration here is just fantastic.”