Jun. 4—LUMBERTON — A local educator desires to be a catalyst for change in her students' lives through the power of education.
Lynn Jones Blanks is a fourth-grade math teacher at Magnolia Elementary School, where she has educated numerous children for 20 years.
"I became an educator because of my second grade teacher Mrs. Marge Mabry from Thompson Elementary School in Warren, Michigan," Blanks said in a statement provided to The Robesonian. "I wanted to become an educator to help children change their situations by getting a good education."
Blanks said she has learned many lessons in her career, but the greatest one involves providing encouragement in the classroom.
"One of the biggest lessons I have learned from being an educator is in the end, students will reach for any goal you set for them with encouragement. Some may need more than others, but once they learn you truly care for them, they will give you their BEST effort," she wrote.
Blanks said students need teachers to not only motivate them, but to help them see their capabilities.
"The most important part of teaching for myself is helping students tap into their own potential. Assisting them in understanding how they learn best," she said. "Growing them from where they are and getting them where they need to be."
Her favorite part of teaching her fourth-grade students is watching them learn and experience "those 'ah-ha' moments, when they finally get a concept," she said.
"An extra reward is when former students come back and tell you just much you impacted their lives," she said.
But the profession isn't always easy.
"Education is a difficult field. It is not always going to be a bed of roses," Blanks said.
Leaning on support from her administration and colleagues has assisted Blanks in overcoming challenges in the profession, such as those brought on by COVID-19, she said. Receiving support from parents and guardians of her students also helps "ease the challenges."
However, future educators shouldn't be discouraged when challenges come.
"The children truly are what makes every challenge worth it," she added.
Teachers don't enter the profession for the pay, she said.
"[T]he paycheck comes when students meet or exceed their expected growth," Blanks added.
When Blanks isn't teaching in the classroom, she can be found at her Lumberton home enjoying time gardening and making memories with her grandchildren.
Reach Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or via email at email@example.com.