Shannon Carter comes up with some of her best ideas late at night. The Stone Creek Elementary school teacher puts her students in learning clubs and challenges those groups to learn life lessons not found in textbooks.
When she teaches math, it's never by the numbers. For a lesson on decimals, students made a budget and planned for their wants and needs. Carter says students like to know how things, like math, relate to the real world, and blending subjects makes that add up. "When you do projects its easier to do the writing aspect and maybe the math aspect and let all those kind of cross over so the kids get it."
When Carter's class studied the Declaration of Independence, they received decrees from the King of the school... ordering them to sit boy, girl, boy, girl or have a silent lunch. "What's funny is I had some kids start to figure it out and they would say how do we go against the King? Can we stop doing what the King tells us to do? So there were some of them that were already trying to formulate a plan to try and overthrow the king."
Carter studied medicine in college, but backed away from that career path to start a family. "I always knew I wanted to work with kids but I just didn't know what aspect, I just thought it would be on the medical side. I didn't ever think about it from the teaching side."
Once her children reached school age, she started work on a masters degree in education. Now, she brings that medical background into the classroom. 4th Grader Connor Sims says "instead of being boring and not doing anything and sitting at a board and telling us what things are, we actually got to make bacteria and decide if something was an acid, a base, or neutral."
Carter connects with her students beyond the classroom too, attending their extra curricular activities. Mickie Davis won the school spelling bee and says "she came to my tournament to support me and told me she would be proud of me if anything happens."