First goal: Make sure kids feel loved, secure

Published 2:33 am Saturday, August 18, 2018

It is Auburn Carrier’s goal every year is to make sure that every student knows that he or she is loved.

Carrier, Andalusia Elementary School’s new lead pre-k teacher, said that the past two weeks of school have been exciting yet very challenging.

“It’s different in pre-k,” Carrier said. “These babies have never been to school before and many of them have never been to daycare. It’s my job to help them work through their insecurities and help them bloom. The first few weeks are a lot like trying to herd kittens.”

Carrier has been in and out of the educational system for almost 20 years, working as a substitute, auxiliary teacher and lead mentor at W.S. Neal Elementary School and Brewton Elementary School. This will be her fifth year teaching full time.

Carrier graduated high school at Sparta Academy, then earned her associate’s degree from Jefferson Davis Community College and her bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Western Governors University.

Carrier said that her dad was her inspiration for becoming a teacher.

“I think being a teacher was embedded in me,” Carrier said. “My dad was in education my whole life. He retired a few years ago after serving in the Conecuh County school system for 44 and a half years.”

Although her father may have been the inspiration behind teaching, Carrier said that God chose the career path for her ultimately.

“The truth is, I didn’t choose to be a teacher,” Carrier said. “God chose that for me. I grew up knowing the struggles that came along with being an educator and I ran from that. I didn’t want to have any part of it. God, however, had a much bigger plan for me and I am so glad that I followed his leadership. He equipped me with all of the necessities to help mold our future leaders.”

Carrier said that her goal every year is to make sure that her students know that they are loved.

“All the learning and the knowledge will come no matter what,” Carrier said. “But they have to know they can trust me and count on me.”

Balancing the different learning needs of each student is what Carrier said is her biggest challenge.

“Every student who walks through my door is going to be different,” Carrier said. “It is my job to meet the learning needs of each of my students.”

Though the job may be challenging, Carrier said that she always looks forward to seeing the progress of her students.

“I always look forward to seeing the progress in each child throughout the year,” Carrier said. “It’s amazing to look back and see how far they come in 10 months.”

Outside of the classroom, Carrier said that her family loves to travel, go “glamping,” and sit by the lake on quiet afternoons.

She is married to Jeff Carrier, who is a driver for UPS, for 17 years. They have two children in their teens.