Dr. Seuss inspired Holley to pursue teaching career

Published 11:49 pm Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pleasant Home School third grade teacher Charlotte Holley credits Dr. Seuss for her becoming a teacher.

“It was really sort of an accident how I became a teacher,” Holley said. “I ended up with a degree in English from Samford University, but I had been a math major. I decided to switch my major from math to English because I had enough credits in English and I had a minor in biology. I just really liked to learn, so one day I was at the top of the library at Samford and I was contemplating changing my major to history, but I came across the Dr. Seuss book, ‘The Butter Battle Book,’ and that is what introduced me to children’s literature. Before I knew it, I had graduated and somebody told me that I would make a good teacher, so I got my masters and teaching degree.”

Before teaching at Pleasant Home, Holley taught for 14 years at Conecuh County Junior High. She has been teaching at Pleasant Home for 14 years now.

Holley said that the best part of her job is showing her students that mistakes are OK.

“I like showing kids that it is OK to not be perfect,” Holley said. “I make a lot of mistakes, and several years ago, I realized that that is the best thing you can do as a teacher, because if the kids can see you making mistakes then they will know that they can still make mistakes and survive.”

She tries to get across to her students that eventually they will learn to love learning in general.

“Right now students are being forced to learn,” Holley said. “But soon they will realize that they will be learning their whole life and eventually it gets fun. When the students learn how to read, write and do math, then that will open up doors for them to learn things that really interest them.”

The most challenging thing about teaching to Holley is the fact that she can’t be there each year with her students.

“Learning is a continued process,” Holley said. “I try to tell them that there are several things that they can look forward to. For example I tell them that in fifth grade they get to read a certain book, and I wish that I could be there to teach it with them. That is the most challenging part of teaching for me.”

To Holley, being a teacher is one of the most important professions.

“Teachers teach the core fundamentals of everything,” Holley said. “I mean reading is like breathing. You need to be able to read. Especially at the elementary level when we are concentrating on reading, writing and arithmetic, if you are illiterate, then you can’t understand the world. Even math is just reading with numbers integrated. Being literate is so necessary.”

Outside of the classroom, Holley loves to read and spend time with her husband, Al Holley, and their two children.