Going from ‘playing school’ to teaching
Published 9:56 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016
A teacher can encourage more than just students to reach for their dreams.
When Robin Herrington was a teacher’s assistant for Marianne Windham at South Park Elementary School, Windham gave Herrington the push she needed to go back to school and become a teacher.
“She realized that I really enjoyed teaching so she let me start being in her classroom and teaching a little bit along the way,” Herrington said. “I’m glad she did. About three years ago I got to teach one of her grandsons.”
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Now Herrington teaches sixth grade reading and social studies at Beechwood Elementary. She has been at Beechwood for 22 years and has taught second, fourth, fifth and sixth grade.
“I’ve been in sixth now for about 10 years, and I think it’s probably my favorite,” Herrington said.
She worked as a teacher’s assistant at South Park for three years—one year in fourth grade and two years in first grade. Herrington planned on teaching the younger students, but after she got her first job as a fifth grade teacher, she knew she belonged with students in the middle grades.
“I just fell in love with the older kids,” Herrington said. “It just clicked. That’s where I was suppose to be.”
Her favorite part of being an educator is when her students have that “ah-ha” moment and a concept clicks in their minds. When the students work hard and understand the deeper meaning in the stories they read, she said they are proud of what they accomplished, which brings her joy.
“It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true,” Herrington said. “You can see it on their face, and I guess that’s probably what has kept me teaching.”
Becoming a teacher was something she had always thought about; she loved playing school as a child, but it didn’t happen at first because she got married and had two children.
“I just kind of put that dream on the backburner,” she said.
Before the became a teacher, Herrington worked in preschool and in the county tax assessor’s office. She started her elementary education degree at Hinds Community College and graduated from Mississippi College.
One of her daughters, Melissa Rouse, also became a teacher and they worked together at Beechwood.
Rouse is now the teacher support team coordinator. Herrington has also had the pleasure of teaching two of her four grandchildren.
“That’s been really neat, working with my daughter and then teaching my grandchildren,” she said.
She hopes to teach her other local grandchild before she retires.