R.I.S.E. teacher overcomes fear to lead students to academic success
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to Leader-Press
Am I going to be a good teacher? Will the students listen to me? Will they like me? Typical questions filled the head of Copperas Cove ISD intern teacher Stacy Tomblin-Weaver who admitted she was not completely sure of her abilities when she started her first day as a seventh grade intern teacher at S. C. Lee Junior High School.
“I was scared. I mean genuinely scared because leaving (Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy) felt like I was taking a risk, and I am not a risk taker,” Tomblin-Weaver said. “At the time, I felt like, “Okay kid, this is it. This is your one shot to get it right.”
Not only did Tomblin-Weaver “get it right” in the classroom, but she will be a fully certified teacher with the completion of her bachelor’s degree paid for by the school district thanks to CCISD’s Rising Instructors Soaring in Education program that creates a fast-track for staff members to apply for teaching internships after they have completed 60 hours of college credit.
“I never would have thought I could actually become a teacher, let alone a junior high teacher. This experience has opened a whole new field in education for me,” Tomblin-Weaver said. “Making more money while finishing my degree has been a great support to my family. It’s not easy to go to school and work a full-time job. CCISD is smart to grow its own teachers from the incredible group of people they already have working for the district. The R.I.S.E. program has challenged me professionally, personally, and academically. But I can see that finish line, thanks to CCISD. I’m looking forward to a whole career with CCISD now. I’ve got new goals as a teacher and educational goals I never saw coming.”
Upon her graduation from Copperas Cove High School, Tomblin-Weaver attended San Angelo University playing soccer. But when the cost of college became more than she could afford, she entered the workforce and never had the opportunity to complete her degree until she was accepted into CCISD’s R.I.S.E. program.
“Now, my students and I are used to each other, and they know they can come to me. I am so proud to teach these students, and to see them grow into eighth graders,” Tomblin-Weaver said. “I’m more prepared for next school year after almost a year already in my own classroom. I feel proud of myself and am grateful for the opportunities that CCISD has given me over the last 10 years. I’m so happy and can’t wait to keep teaching.”
This is a first in a series of stories featuring teachers in CCISD’s R.I.S.E. program which has eliminated a shortage of teachers that other districts across the nation are experiencing.