New teacher Karen Bear joins staff of Sevier Middle

NEW TEACHER. Karen Bear is Sevier Middle's newest 6th
grade Language Arts teacher.

Patrick Galloway

NEW TEACHER. Karen Bear is Sevier Middle's newest 6th grade Language Arts teacher.

Molly Turner, Co-Editor in Chief

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Karen Bear is a new 6th grade language arts teacher at John Sevier Middle School. Bear replaced Cathy Williams, who retired at the beginning of the school year.

Bear has lived in Kingsport for nearly her whole life and got her degrees at King College and Union College. She has taught language arts for 8 years and loves being a teacher.

Bear has a husband and two kids that are in high school.

“I really enjoy reading and spending time at home with my family,” Bear said.

Before teaching, Bear owned a catering business, but she is glad she decided to switch to teaching.
“I chose the different path and went back to school to attain my teaching degree,” she said. “I had always wanted to be a teacher.”

Bear feels that there are many great things about being a teacher.

“One of the best things about being a teacher is the amount of creativity you are allowed to utilize in the classroom,” she said. “Each day is different and can be what you make it. Also, you are not doing the same thing day in and day out, and most of the time, kids are fun to work and get along with.”
One of Bear’s favorite memories as a teacher is with a child in one of her classes that had special needs.

“All of my students are special to me, but I once had a student that had special needs but never allowed that to hold him back,” Bear said. “He never failed to try any activity out there. I was always in awe of his positive mindset and willingness to try to do his best. I still admire him and am inspired by his approach to life.”

Although Bear loves being a teacher, there are a few parts of her job that she doesn’t enjoy.
“Probably the worst one has to be getting up early, but a close second is student testing,” Bear said. “So much emphasis has been placed on testing, that it causes a lot of unnecessary stress for everyone.”
Bear used to work with younger students, and agrees that there are many differences in teaching middle school students.

“Working with middle school students compared to other students is different in that they are trying to figure out who they are; they’re on the cusp of being a teenager,” she said. “I usually see children change tremendously during the years between 6th and 7th grade, physically and mentally.”

She is very fond of Sevier Middle School and is glad to be working at the school.

“I came to Sevier because it was a great opportunity to work with a number of extremely talented teachers and administrators,” Bear said. “Sevier has some of the best educators in this area, and I truly feel blessed to be part of the faculty. “I admire how Sevier Middle School rises to a challenge. No matter what the problem is, they work together to overcome it and help each other out.”

She has a very good impression of Sevier Middle so far.

“I am completely impressed with the welcoming attitude if everyone here,” Bear said. “Every single person I have had the pleasure of meeting, or even just coming into contact with, has been so kind and helpful.”

Bear feels that Sevier students are very involved in their school.

“Almost every student that attends Sevier is involved in some type of extracurricular activity, which lends itself to creating a very strong sense of community and belonging,” Bear said.

Bear’s goal at Sevier lies in how her students learn and grow over the year.

“My first priority is to know my students and help them to grow and be prosperous,” she said. “If I accomplish that, I will feel immensely successful.”

She thinks that the biggest challenge for her at Sevier will be time.

“Class time is valuable and it seems as though the clock spins faster each and every day,” Bear said.
The way she teaches her students is not only important in the classroom, but in all of their lives as they grow and learn.

“I like for students to discover and realize things for themselves,” Bear said. “I believe teaching students how to reason and figure things out on their own are invaluable tools they will use for the rest of their life.”

Bear’s advice to students is to always work hard at everything.

“My advice to students would be to try your hardest each and every day, because what you do today will make tomorrow much, much easier.”

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