East McDowell Middle School

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Ms. Erin Leatherman » Ms. Leatherman- 8th Grade ELA

Ms. Leatherman- 8th Grade ELA

* Bachelor of Arts in English Education from UNCG (2007) - Magna Cum Laude 
* NC licensed teacher in grades 6-12
* Teaching 8th grade since January 2011
* East McDowell Teacher of the Year 2013-2014
* Charter faculty member of Patton High School (Morganton, NC)
* Taught 10th-12th grade at Patton H.S. (2007-2010)
* Burke County's Secondary First Year Teacher of the Year 2008-2009
* EMMS Golden Apple Award Winner 2017-2018
About Me
As I sat down in January of 2011 to interview with my former vice principal in my former junior high, one word kept coming to mind: weird. It was strange to think that, less than two weeks later, I would be teaching 8th grade English Language Arts in the very same classroom that I learned it. The faces within these walls may have changed (and some of them have stayed the same- I'm looking at you Coach Comer), but the quality of education is still just as intense as it was when I was a student.
I have been very lucky in my life so far to have worked with what I consider to be the best teachers I've ever encountered. While a high school English teacher at Patton High School, I was amazed at the talent, caring, and dedication that the staff portrayed to the student body. East McDowell is no different. My colleagues here are among the best and have the biggest hearts. 
My goal within my classroom is not only to prepare students for the End of Grade test but to also prepare them for the years beyond 8th grade. As a high school teacher, I was frustrated with how little my students knew when they came to me. I have vowed, as a middle school teacher, to try and give these guys the education that I wish my high schoolers had received. I also want to teach them skills that they will need in whatever job they choose after school. 
I love my job. I laugh every day. Most people wonder why I would do this, let alone want to, but when you are surrounded by the coolest group of adults and have tiny humans who show the greatest growth and say the most hilarious things, how can I not love walking into my classroom everyday?