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Karen Baucom (Rock Rest Elementary)
What do you teach and why did you become a teacher?
I currently teach kindergarten and love being able to learn with my children. I teach because I had teachers who made me feel special – like there was nothing I couldn't do. I feel I make an impact on children by being their advocate and by loving and accepting them. If the children see my love of learning, it spreads the joy of learning in them as well. I am “the keeper of the flame" and I take that job very seriously. The flame of learning burns brightly most of the time, but when it doesn’t, my job is to ignite that flame!
How do you show your school spirit?
My school spirit starts when I walk into Rock Rest Elementary. My day begins by greeting my colleagues and students – knowing that in these halls, lives are being changed. I am proud of my school, so I often wear spirit wear and actively support whatever event is planned.
What or who inspires you?
The Rock Rest family inspires me because of the dedication, perseverance, and love we have for the students and each other.
Constantly seeking new ways to improve professionally is always at the forefront and this in turn impacts our students and the extraordinary progress each is able to make.
In which other teacher’s class would you like to enroll for a day? Why?
I would be fortunate to be in any class and repeatedly tell parents how blessed their student is to be at Rock Rest.
What is one of your hidden talents?
I’m not sure I have any hidden talents, but I can “sing the praises “ of those who do have tremendous talents and skills. I’m a cheerleader every chance I get!
If you could pass on any wisdom to your students, what would you share?
It is important to stay true to yourself. For example, if I can’t make teaching match my style and make me want to go to work every day, then maybe I need to look at myself and re-evaluate my goals.
What is a professional motto or quote that you “work” by?
Modify and adjust. These are words from my high school algebra teacher and these words have resonated with me over the years. Teaching is always a challenge and to be successful, one must adapt or “modify and adjust.” Doing what is most beneficial for my learners is my priority and I am constantly reflecting and making adjustments as necessary. Rock Rest administration is unmatched in its desire to make our teaching practices meaningful and impactful. Professional development allows our school to match teaching practices to the documented needs of our students.
What do you enjoy most about working in UCPS?
I enjoy everyone at my school and all those I have encountered during my tenure. These relationships have given me joy and camaraderie that I cherish.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
My superpower would be the ability to “ level the playing field.“ I wish I could provide resources where they are limited, opportunities where they seem non-existent, confidence for those who lack it, the ability to learn and grow to those who struggle for various reasons, and enough love to make up for the lack of it some have to learn to live without.
List five adjectives that describe your personality.