CS: How long have you been teaching?
RM: Well, I’ve retired from Hamilton County, then retired from Whitfield County, then put in an application to be a substitute but was brought back on full-time, and that was six or seven years ago. This month, I’ll begin my 49th year!
CS: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
RM: The thing is, I’ve always loved school. School has always been – and I tell my students still – school is my happy place. I work with students who don’t like school, their parents don’t like school, it’s been a negative experience. My goal is to change their mindset. If they say, ‘I can’t do that,’ I say, ‘You can’t do that yet.’ I want school to be a happy place for them too.
CS: What’s it like to see your students go on to do incredible things?
RM: I got a call in March from the grandmother of a student I had taught back in elementary school. She was calling to let me know her grandson, who was finishing up 6th grade, had made the honor roll. That was monumental because when I had him in 3rd grade, he couldn’t read. I was able to work together with his other teachers to help and encourage him, and to get the call that he had made it on his own and was doing his own work, it was really fantastic.
CS: What keeps you coming back day after day?
RM: It’s all about the children and seeing that they get the best education possible. I can’t solve all of the problems, but I can work with one student at a time, throughout my day, throughout the years, and I know I can help them and provide opportunities for them. I had a student one day come to me and say, ‘Ms. Morgan, you’re just like my grandma.’ And I said, ‘You know what, I bet your grandmother loves you.’ And she said, ‘Yeah, she does.’ And I said, ‘I love you too,’ and she just grinned.
CS: What advice do you have for those still looking to find that career they’re passionate about?
RM: You have to find something you enjoy – the amount of money you make is beside the point. If you can pull out of your driveway each day and enjoy where you’re going, that’s what matters.