Sarah Bivins - 2014-15 Dougherty County School System Teacher of the Year Finalist
Sarah Bivins, a teacher at Dougherty Comprehensive High School, is one of eight finalists for the 2014-15 Dougherty County School System Teacher of the Year Award. Bivins explains her teaching philosophy and memorable moments as an educator. The award will be presented in a ceremony on April 17.
ALBANY — Ever hear the old saying ‘Mama knows what’s good for you?’ In the case of Dougherty County Teacher of the Year finalist Sarah Bivins, Mama did know best.
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“As a middle school child, I had my plans for the future already mapped out in my mind,” Bivins, an English teacher at Dougherty High School, said. “I was destined to be a mortician, or so I thought. I was going attend a school of mortuary science, buy a funeral home and make a good living. I had one major obstacle in my path — my mother. It was my mother who saw the true desires of my heart and extinguished my plans to own the most profitable funeral home in the community.
“It was my mother who knew that for me, owning a funeral home was more for profit than for pleasure. Besides, she could not foresee any child of hers working with dead people because we liked to talk too much. My mother was right.”
Bivins’ mother, a high school dropout, stressed the importance of education.
After graduation from high school, Bivins joined the military and became engaged. She wanted children, but learned from a military doctor that she would never be able to have children biologically.
“That was a dose of reality for me, but I came to the realization that I still had an opportunity to be in the lives of children through teaching,” Bivins said. “God was trying to tell me something. No, I never will have children biologically, but each day I leave my school and our children, I feel the joys and pains of motherhood.”
Bivins says she while she teaches math she also tries to educate her students about life.
“When I reflect on the students I have taught over the years, I always return to one major concern that I have often voiced,” Bivins said. “While I do believe that our students are receptive individuals who are capable of learning, I feel we unconsciously fail to prepare them for life after high school. However, I realize that not all of them will go to college, not all of them will doctors and lawyers, and not all of then will go to the NBA or NFL. Some of our students need a skill.
“When students do not have a backup plan, when their dreams are deferred, or when they get lost, some of them will look to other means to fill that void.”
Bivins holds a B.S. in English Education from Florida State University and a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Walden University.
Dougherty County’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year will be announced at a banquet Thursday at Hilton Garden Inn.