Teacher volunteers time to children outside of school

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, August 4, 2015

VOLUNTEER: Carolyn Bradley spends time after school working with the Junior Auxiliary to help children in the community.

VOLUNTEER: Carolyn Bradley spends time after school working with the Junior Auxiliary to help children in the community.

Carolyn Bradley may not have always known she wanted to be a teacher, but she has always known she wanted to work with children.

She got what she wished for, and now Bradley, a teacher at Bowmar Elementary School, has a class full of children, two at home and an organization that allows her to help children in the community through volunteer service work.

Outside of school Bradley, a Vicksburg native, works with children through Junior Auxiliary, a service organization geared toward helping children in the community.

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Bradley serves as projects chair and Camp Silvercloud chair.

“Through various projects, the one that kind of really hit home with me was Camp Silvercloud, which is a camp for special needs kids,” she said. “While I love that camp, the best part is the connection the campers make with their counselors. That’s truly what I love to see, how it impacts both the special needs kid and the counselor.”

Bradley, who has a degree in psychology, said her mother-in-law was a teacher and she always told Bradley, she saw something in her she thought would make her a successful teacher.

“I took a few classes over the summer and I begged Bubba Hanks every day for a job, and finally he hired me at Vicksburg Intermediate,” she said.

That was 11 years ago. Eight years ago Bradley took a job at Bowmar Elementary School where she now teaches sixth grade.

“Very quickly I realized that teaching was my niche,” she said. “More so because of the kids and the connections I make than the actual academic side, and I think that’s what keeps me here.”

Bradley said when she decided to major in psychology she had children in mind, and she always knew she would end up working with children somehow.

“It’s a passion, and it’s something I look forward to every day,” she said. “I have a file folder where I keep every note and every picture that kids have given me over the past 11 years, and it’s just fun to look back through as they get older. I enjoy seeing them at Kroger or Walmart or seeing their names in the paper — it’s just what makes being a teacher incredible.”

Bradley said to her, teaching is more about teaching standards than teaching skills.

“I hope I’m impressing upon them how to better themselves and how to be successful in life and how to be a better person,” she said. “They’re not going to remember Mrs. Bradley taught them how to multiply decimals, but maybe they’ll remember Mrs. Bradley said to be kinder than necessary.”

Bradley said she also enjoys reading and spending time with her family; husband Will, son Beau, 6 and daughter Mary Helen, 3.