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Phyllis Childs, ESOL Teacher at Barrow Elementary School, is our March Better Every Day Recipient.   Ms. Childs was nominated for her commitment to the Barrow Elementary School community.


Phyllis Childs has been teaching in Clarke County for 29 years, at different schools, often splitting her time between two schools. She has worked with countless students over the years, and shared her enthusiasm with colleagues across the district. "On a daily basis, Ms. Childs demonstrates her expert knowledge, engaging teaching methods, and genuine passion in welcoming new families to our school district," says Dr. Ellen Sabatini, Principal of Barrow Elementary School. "We will all miss year, as she is retiring at the end of the year."


As an ESOL teacher, Ms. Childs first and foremost is an excellent ambassador for our school, district, and country. She works with students who often are coming to school in the United States for the first time with very limited English language and knowledge of American culture and customs. We have students who arrive regularly (sometimes weekly!) from countries such as China, Korea, India, France, Nepal, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, and Uganda. She is always there when they arrive to welcome them and spend time with their families. She learns all she can about their family, why they are coming to Athens, how long they will be staying, and some of their customs and favorite things. She does this not only to help families feel like they have a friend at Barrow, but also so she can weave these important pieces of information into her daily lessons. Ms. Childs is a regular at every after school and PTA event. She attends PTA meetings, Spaghetti Suppers, and Student Art Shows, so she can help her families navigate these new situations in a successful way. When families come to after school events, they see a familiar face, someone they feel comfortable with. Families see her as a true ally.


Ms. Child’s lessons are fun, quirky and often include props! One day she might bring in different kinds of hats. Another day she may wear a crazy outfit. She loves to bring in her hot plate, microwave, and electric skillet to cook with her students. She reads fantastic books and tells personal stories. All of these lessons are tied to sharing different experiences to help students develop written and oral vocabulary. She encourages her students to make connections by sharing their own experiences, in oral, written, or pictorial form. She provides a risk-free environment, one where students laugh together and learn together. Even though her students might speak five or six different languages, and very little English, you will hear a lot of conversational “buzz” in her classroom. It is amazing to see the many ways children can communicate with one another, especially in the caring and supportive classroom environment that Ms. Childs creates.

Ms. Childs is one of the dedicated members of the CCSD community who makes us Better Every Day!

At the October 11, 2018 Board of Education meeting the Better Every Day Award for members of the CCSD community was announced.   The award will be given monthly to at least one district employee who embodies our mission of ensuring equity and excellence through the implementation of rigorous standards in a safe and supportive environment for every child.

Do you know a CCSD employee who works to make things Better Every Day? Nominate him or her here for the Better Every Day Award!