Watching children learn is fun for Stabler

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 12, 2006

It's fifth period and Samantha Stabler is putting her 7th grade students through their warm-up exercises.

They aren't exercising their bodies, however. It's their mental muscles these young people are putting to work.

&#8220OK, who can tell me what the product is on number five,” the teacher calls out to her class.

For Stabler, Greenville Middle School's Teacher of the Year, It's all about the numbers and getting students interested in the world of math.

A four-year veteran of the classroom, she teaches 7th and 8th grade math at the school.

The bubbly young woman, who attended college at Southeastern University, says her favorite part of the job is being &#8220a positive influence in the life of her students.”

As any teacher can tell you, days can often fly by

– &#8220not having enough time to do everything I want to is the biggest challenge,” Stabler said.

But those &#8220a-ha” moments make all the difference in a hectic day.

&#8220Seeing my students' faces when they finally understand something and they get it – that's great,” the teacher said with a smile.

Stabler knows what it takes to make a good middle school teacher.

&#8220Courage and patience. You must realize these are just kids and they make mistakes – and you are there to help them learn from those mistakes,” she said.

&#8220Also, they are listening even when we sometimes think they aren't. Sometimes it takes a little longer for them to get it; that's why you need that patience.”

The math teacher recommends anyone planning to enter the teaching profession to &#8220be prepared for anything that comes along.”

&#8220Things don't always go the way you want it – so plan for everything,” Stabler said.

The GMS teacher says a &#8220wonderful” administration and faculty is in place at her school.

&#8220The staff is always open to new ideas and continues to give us opportunities to grow. Also, our administration is there to lend a helping hand when we have a question or just need someone to talk to.”

GMS's Teacher of the Year is also involved in other aspects of her school and her community.

Stabler is co-sponsor of the school's Quiz Bowl team and travels with the Math Team when her schedule allows.

She is a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Teacher Sorority and sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Teachers and Students Club (FACTS) at GMS.

&#8220The organization holds an annual canned food drive to held needy families in the area,” Stabler said.

She is also excited about her role in the formation of a GMS Pep Squad to support the school's cheerleaders, football and basketball players.

&#8220For this to be our first year, it has been quite successful – we have about 35 students involved. I'm really looking forward to what the next year will bring, now that we have some experience with it.”

At her church, Southside Baptist, Stabler is co-leader of the preschool choir and assists with children's church activities. She is also active with Relay For Life every spring.

And each day throughout the school year, the math teacher makes sure the numbers add up to a successful future for her GMS students.

&#8220You just have to be patient, be caring and hang in there,” Stabler said.