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Plummer named Beauregard Alternative Program Teacher of the Year

Kathern Plummer, high school social studies teacher, has been named the 2021-2022 Beauregard Alternative Program Teacher of the Year.

She believes making history applicable to students’ lives makes the biggest impact on their learning.

“I work hard to create engaging lessons to captivate my students and highlight their interests,” she explained. “For example, when teaching the Declaration of Independence, I want my students to know the pressure and fear that the signers faced.”

To drive home the point, Plummer created a petition that students have the opportunity to sign. The students do not know that the petition is a hoax. The catch is, once they sign it, they are also told if they leave their name on the petition, they may face severe consequences.

“Once they learn there may be consequences if they leave their name on the petition, I tell them that the petition is fake,” she explains. “Then we have a discussion about the fears that the signers of the Declaration of Independence may have had by signing their names to that document.”

Making history come alive is her favorite part of teaching. Creating lessons that connect historical events to students’ lives helps them see the reality of a past event.

“Events from history have an impact on us today,” she said, “and I want my students to see the nuances of history on their lives.”

Plummer has been a social studies teacher at BAP for three years where she teaches ninth grade Civics and World Geography, eleventh grade U.S History, and twelfth grade World History.

She is the Beauregard Virtual Program coordinator, the BAP Website Manager, and a member of the PBIS team.

Plummer earned her Bachelor of Arts in History with a concentration in Social Studies Education (grades 7-12) from McNeese State University. She did her student teaching at F.K White Middle School in Lake Charles and at East Beauregard High School.

Her advice to new educators is to continue to learn every day. No one learns everything s/he needs to know about teaching in one year. All teachers learn through trial and error.

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She reminds teachers not to be too hard on themselves and to have fun.

Her favorite saying is from BAP principal Mike Greene who reminds the staff:

“They don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”

Teachers need to invest in the relationships with students if they want students to listen and learn, she explained.

The more students understand a teacher cares, the more they will try, and the more they try, the more likely they are to succeed.

“I teach for the students,” she concludes. “The future of our world will one day be in their hands; therefore, I want to have a part in what they learn so that I can hopefully impact what the future will look like.”

Written by Kari Ifland

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