Wando Staff Feature: Erin Lowry

English teacher and member of Homecoming teacher court Erin Lowry.

Q: How long have you been teaching?

A: It’s been very long time. I have been at Wando for 13 years, but I also ran the ISS program my first year here. So, and then I was in guidance and then ISS. I actually did my student teaching here.

Q: Have you had any other jobs beside teaching?

A: This [teaching] is my second career. I went to Clemson and got a degree in communications. What that is? Nobody knows. I got that degree in communications and went straight into marketing and worked for a couple of companies with direct marketing campaigns and school software stuff, and it just wasn’t fulfilling. So then I went back and got my Master’s in teaching English. And that is how I ended up here.

Q: Was English always the subject you wanted to do?

A: Yes because if you like at my track record, math is really not my thing. I love to read, I love to write and I took a lot of English courses in my undergrad, and that was always something I was interested in.

Q: What got you into the AP program?

A: I fell into that kind of. I did not expect to ever be teaching AP. I went and got trained for it after Mrs. [Jeannie] Fox and Mrs. [Tammy] Watkins, who are my faves, told me to get trained for it. So I went and got trained — never thought I was actually going to teach it — and two years after I got trained they said, “okay the class size is so big we need you to.”

Q: What are the differences and challenges that come along with teaching AP instead of CP or Honors?

A: It’s a whole different idea, like a different concept. It’s a lot more work, a lot more writing, a lot more doing higher level pieces and quickly. Even in my CP classes, I still taught the same curriculum — I just went at a slower pace. This one I am literally having to go quickly, quickly, quickly. And teaching people how to write and write in different forms is extremely difficult.

Q: What techniques do you use to get your students engaged?

A: There is a little craziness involved in it. Little craziness involved in it, a little in your face action involved in it, a lot of emotions, a lot of pushing. I guess that’s the thing — they can’t get away with reading on a surface level in my class because they are forever pushed to look for a deeper meaning, and we do a lot of in-class discussions. I like to really be in their faces and really get into discussions. So I think I am just very, very excited and I just love what I do. So I think that translates into me being excited for them to discover all the things that I see in literature.

Q: Have you had any particular amazing teaching moments?

A: This is not supposed to sound cheesy at all. It happens probably once a day. It is everything from when a kid legitimately grasps a concept that they have been struggling with… Ooh, Ooh the other day a kid on a vocab quiz went from making certain range of grades to an A and they have been working really hard on it. That to me is one of those moments where it is teachable because it’s like if you can do this, anybody can do this. Like you’ve got this, you just have to put in the effort and I’ll do anything. I think really a poignant moment that I’ve had while teaching is… [the walkout] allowed for conversations to happen that I think need to happen to express fears. And I feel like school doesn’t just need to be about content. It needs to be about growth and learning and a place where you can talk about things that they fear especially with an adult — a trusted adult.

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: I’m a mother of two so I am a mom, I’m momming. I mom a lot. I like to really just spend time with my family, the four of us.

Q: How did you get involved with teacher court?

A: I am a little enthusiastic about it. I like to dress up — its honor for the kids to vote that way and be on the court. That is a huge honor because it’s coming from the kids and it’s not coming from an adult or coming from anyone else. And that is pretty important. So that’s been fun, just being a part of it. The videos were fun.

Q: What went into making the videos?

A: I told my wonderful children to do whatever they wanted to do, and I got roasted for 45 seconds. But it was awesome, it was a lot of fun and it made me life and that was a good thing.

Q: What do you hope your students get out of your teaching?

A: I hope they learn more about more things than just English. I hope there is more to learn and to understand about the environment, and humanity, and relying on each other, and being there for each other, and being a good person. Honestly.