When Morgan Myers reflects on her childhood experience as a student, happy memories fill her mind.
“I always loved school,” Myers said.
Myers credits her parents and teachers for helping her develop a love of learning while growing up near the Oklahoma-Kansas border. Despite her passion for education, Myers never imagined she’d be a teacher someday.
Back then, her primary focus outside of school was softball and Myers’ achievements as a right-handed pitcher took her all over the country on an elite traveling softball team based in Kansas.
“I then went to college mainly to play softball,” Myers said. “I was going to school and playing softball. That was totally my dream. I was so happy.”
As her college career progressed, Myers realized that she wanted to find a way to help others believe in themselves and achieve their own dreams.
“That’s why I became a teacher,” Myers said.
Two years into her teaching career, Myers can’t imagine doing anything else. She feels fortunate to be a seventh-grade Social Studies teacher at Prairie Heights Middle School in Evans, Colorado, and has already made an immeasurable impact on her students and peers.
“Morgan has a natural talent in the classroom,” Principal Stephanie Knox said. “Students are visibly learning with one another because of her intentionality with relationships, planning, instruction, and reflection.”
Myers’ joy-filled approach to education has led to her being the latest recipient of Summit Learning’s ongoing “Teacher Spotlight” series. The spotlight celebrates educators who go above and beyond to provide meaningful learning experiences for their students.
With a humble and team-first attitude, Myers doesn’t view what she does each day as anything special. But as she speaks about being a teacher, her effusive gratitude helps explain why Knox feels “so very lucky” to have Myers at PHMS.
“I want my students to feel how I felt as a student,” Myers said. “I want them to feel comfortable and feel safe so they will want to work hard to get better each day. And at the end of the day, if they can feel proud of themselves, that’s the ultimate fulfillment for me.”
Myers said that growing up in a rural community allowed her to develop strong relationships with her teachers and classmates. Her high school graduating class was made up of 16 students, many of whom were in the same classrooms together since grade school.
“We were all really close,” Myers said. “Some of us grew up together, played sports together, and did everything together. There was a real family and team aspect to our school and that included with all the teachers. I still love going home to catch up with everybody. They love that I’m a teacher now because I was always that kid in their class who loved school so much.”
‘My favorite part of the week’
Though Prairie Heights Middle School has a much larger student population than the schools she attended, Myers said she is able to form a similar cohesive dynamic with her students because of the school’s mentoring program with Summit Learning. Myers, who has 22 students in her mentoring group, has weekly one-on-one meetings with her mentees to discuss all aspects of their lives, both inside and outside of the classroom.
“It’s my favorite part of the week,” Myers said. “I love just getting to sit down with them, with no interruptions, and to hear how their week has been, what they might be struggling with, and especially what they’re proud of. As teachers, we really try to feed that positivity.
“I always tell them, ‘You’re not alone. We’re in this together.’”
Likewise, Myers knows she’s not alone as she embarks on her teaching journey. She regularly receives feedback and support from her colleagues and loves observing other classrooms to learn from various teaching styles.
“Prairie Heights is such a special place because everybody is really bought-in and super positive,” Myers said. “I don’t know how I got so lucky to be here.”
Of course, similar to a long softball season with wins and losses, Myers knows each school year will bring its own set of challenges to overcome. But no matter what happens throughout her career, Myers is convinced she’ll have the same joyful attitude about being able to make a profound impact on students’ lives.
“Ultimately, hard work and a positive outlook will take you a really, really long way in life,” Myers said. “I am so thankful to be a teacher and can’t wait to keep learning and growing along the way.”
Do you know a teacher who is going above and beyond to support their students? If so, please nominate them to receive the Summit Learning Teacher Spotlight through this form.