By GRAYSON LEE MAXWELL
Rutherford County Schools
Kim Haddock is a special education teacher with 30+ years in education. In this Q+A she talks about her love of reading, how to form successful relationships, and the difference teachers make.
Q: What is your history in education like?
A: I started 30 years ago in Stewartsboro as a behavior mod teacher, and I taught behavior class. So, I did that for six years. Then I followed my assistant principal who opened Rock Springs Elementary and have been here ever since. I taught gen ed for four years, but I’ve been in special education ever since. This is our 25-year anniversary as a school.
Q: What is unique about the students of Rock Springs Elementary?
A: It’s just amazing to me, in 25 years our population has become so diverse. They’re all so sweet and we teachers wouldn’t come in every day if it wasn’t for the difference we make. I see that difference show up a lot in special education, you know, kids come in as non-readers and at the end of the year I see so much growth. It keeps me coming in every day.
Q: What do you love most about the job?
A: I enjoy working with the kids. I have a good sense of humor and you know, like to have fun, but I love reading. That’s my passion. I love teaching reading and math, but I love to see when the light comes on when kids read. It starts to click, and you can show them their data and say, “look how much you’ve grown!” Also, being able to have that relationship with the parents and tell them how much their kiddo has grown.
Q: What do you love outside of teaching?
A: I love watching my son play football at Harvard. So, I try to fly up on the weekends and watch him play. And I read — that’s my passion. I love to travel and love cruises… we just went on one in May. When I retire I plan to travel a lot.
Q: How do you form relationships with students?
A: That is a critical part of educating, right? I’ve always just had a good sense of humor, and so I’ve established rapport from day one. I get involved. I try to go to their ball games, or you know, I think it’s very important to have a good relationship with the parents. Have the ability to laugh when we make mistakes – it helps the kids want to come in to class.