Elon alumna named Chapel Hill-Carrboro Teacher of the Year
For Kim Mellor G’05, teaching is a delicate balance between science and artistry.
“The science is having the knowledge of child development, knowledge about subject areas and being component in those areas,” she said. “But there is also an art to teaching. The artistry of it is rooted in the environment you create and the relationships you establish.”
The environment Mellor has created in her classroom at McDougle Elementary has clearly paid off. Earlier this year, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro city school district.
Mellor originally fell into the trend of many new teachers, about half of which don’t make it through their first five years without changing careers.
“I taught for three and a half years and then started wondering if there was something else I needed to pursue,” she said. “Some of that was just that feeling of being pulled in so many different directions that I couldn’t focus on the very I went into teacher.”
It was then she went into career counseling - a balance between working with students and teaching classes, she said. Mellor was working as the assistant director of the Career Center at Elon when she began taking some education classes and resumed an interest in being in the classroom.
“I signed up for a class and then I liked it, so I signed up for another and then it kind of kept going,” she said. “I thought, ‘this is crazy, I’m enjoying this a lot and I should just keep going with it.’”
After graduating from the Master of Education program in 2005, she immediately began working at McDougle. She credits her time at Elon for much of the classroom philosophies she uses today.
“I like to think I’m a teacher who puts students first and sometime that’s hard, there’s a lot of things being launched at us right now,” Mellor said. “Teachers are being asked to do more than we’ve ever been asked to do in a tight timeframe.
“The experience I had at Elon taught me to always keep students front and center in my planning and my thinking. I credit Elon a lot for that emphasis.”
In May, Mellor was honored by the school district. She is currently working on a teaching portfolio, due later this month, to be reviewed by a committee who will select a recipient at the regional level based on the portfolio, an interview and classroom observation.
She can sum up her reaction upon learning of her recognition in one word: overwhelming.
“I work with so many wonderful people, I don’t know how my name was at the top of this group,” Mellor said. “I am incredibly honored and appreciate the opportunity to represent this school.”
Written by Caitlin O’Donnell ‘13