Middle-schooler eager to get back to learning

Middle-schooler eager to get back to learning

A teacher shortage in Anson County is starting to really affect learning across the district. The county is trying to fill 15 teacher openings. Six of the vacancies are at the county’s only middle school — Anson Middle School.

What You Need To Know

  • Anson County Schools has 15 teacher openings
  • Many of the teacher vacancies are at Anson Middle School
  • Komoria Chambers, a sixth-grader at Anson Middle, says half of her teachers are substitutes

Komoria Chambers is a sixth-grader there. She’s in advanced classes and loves learning, but this year her love for school has taken a back seat.

“Because it’s boring,” she said.

Half of her teachers are substitutes. So, there’s more misbehaving and less learning going on in classrooms.

Chambers’ math teacher recently quit. She says he made math exciting! But her new sub — not so much. 

“She makes math boring. She doesn’t do anything,” Chambers said. “She just reads word for word from the paper.”

The latest data from U.S. News and World Report shows only 16% of the students at Anson Middle are proficient in math according to state standards.

Chambers is hoping that doesn’t drop even more because of the shortage.

Chambers also has substitutes for science and enrichment.

“And when we do need help, we can’t get help, because they don’t even know,” she said. “I just want a real teacher.” 

Chambers’ mother, Ebone Moore Chambers, also went to Anson Middle. So did her parents and her grandfather. She’s invested in the community. 

“Me and my husband talk about taking that building over and making after-school programs,” she said as she drove past a former elementary school building.

She is so invested she became a substitute teacher for two years leading up to the pandemic, but didn’t want to take on the task of long-term subbing for core classes like math, reading and science.

“I would be responsible even if they didn’t hold me accountable for it,” she said.

Now she’s pleading for certified teachers to apply for those openings.

“The kids are so far behind once they get to the high school,” Ebone Chambers said.

She fears the need for teachers goes beyond the classroom. 

“And it’s so many kids that can make it out of here, but they end up in the gangs, on the streets,” she said.

The district may be in a tough spot, but she echoes what the sign in her front lawn says:

“Greatness resides in Anson County!”

So she won’t give up on it.

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