Another Sunday, another opportunity to meet one of the fantastic staff members at West End Middle School. This week, you’ll find out why Mrs. Cecil is so fantastic.
Are you from Nashville? If not, where are you from, and what path led you here?
Yes, I am from Nashville. I grew up in East Nashville, went to Lockeland and Rosebank for my elementary years, Issac Litton for middle school and spent two years at Stratford. Then we moved to Mt. Juliet (Talk about a culture shock, I was a city girl!), and I graduated from Mt. Juliet High School.
Tell us about your family, human, furry or otherwise …
I met my husband at Western Kentucky University, and he moved to Nashville several years after I graduated. We live in East Nashville with our two sweet girls, Stella, 6, and Cora, 3, and our dog Napoleon, 11, and our cat Oliver, 13.
How long have you been teaching, what grades and at what school(s)?
I have been teaching for 16 years. I taught in Robertson County at Coopertown Elementary and Middle School. I taught fifth grade for five years and sixth grade for two years. I also taught a migrant program during the summer for four years. I loved everything about Coopertown and teaching the migrant program, but I felt I needed to give back to my community. I decided to apply for a job in Davidson County, and West End was my first and only interview; I knew this was the place for me. I have been teaching since and don’t plan to go anywhere soon.
What is your most favorite thing about being a teacher?
There are so many things I love about teaching. I love building relationships with my students and watching them grow. I love giving kids the opportunity to learn about literature and help develop critical thinking. It’s so much fun watching kids and seeing the “light bulb” coming on!
Tell us about the most memorable experience you have had since you’ve been at WEMS.
I have been teaching a while, so I have had many amazing moments as a teacher. Last year, my first group of fifth graders from West End graduated, and that was pretty great! I also had a student teacher at West End a few years ago, and she was in the first class of fifth graders I EVER taught! Talk about making you feel old but in a good way! It is nice to see I’m making a difference in the lives of children.
When you’re not teaching, how do you enjoy spending free time?
When I am not teaching, I am usually spending time with my family. We love to travel and explore new places. Brad and I feel it is very important to give our girls exposure to new and interesting experiences. I also enjoy reading; I have an amazing book club. We are best friends; we love to read, share our lives with each other and eat delicious food.
What is your number one hope or goal for your students this year?
My number one hope for my students … that’s such a hard question! There are so many things I hope for them, but I guess I would say that I want my students happy but challenged. I want school to be a place where my students learn to think critically, develop an appreciation for literature, but also want to be here! West End is a great place, and the teachers truly work so hard to create an environment where our students can thrive in more ways than just academics!
Another rockstar of a teacher! Thanks to Mrs. Cecil for offering us a peek into her world. If you want to get in touch with Mrs. Cecil, email her at Lauren.Cecil@mnps.org.