2018 Hartman Teacher of the Year

Exceptional Education Teacher Linda D. Lockett


Linda D. Lockett
John T. Hartman Elementary
Kindergarten – Second Grade Exceptional Education

What motivated your career in education?
Now even though the words from my mother lead me toward education, it was the children and their parents, that really influenced me to stay for the past 39 years in my dream job of teaching children with exceptional needs. I have never been able to look at teaching as one grand achievement, but I look at each accomplishment in teaching as one child at a time. Just as each child has an individual educational plan, I look at teaching the same way. My pet peeve is when someone says I need to teach one program, one style or put all of the children in the same mold of learning. I believe all children should be treated individually. I think it is so very important to learn about the child just as I would my own children as individuals. They not only have different learning styles but personality that must be thought of when teaching. Every child has the right be given the chance to flourish and succeed on their own terms.

What message about public education do you want to share?
Someone asked my grandmother what were the difference in her two son who were both ministers in the gospel. She said, “Well Phillip is a preacher with sermons of fire and brimstone. Whereas Marion (my father) is a teacher, with guidance and examples.” That was my father’s way. A gentle man with a passion for discovery. And one thing I remember he said when I told him I was going into education was “You never get too old to learn, and when you do, you die.” I took that to mean, just as my young students are learning from what I teach, as a teacher I need to continue to learn and grow. Not just from the continuing education courses that teachers are required to attend, but really learn from my students.

I read an article by Jocelyn Kelley, 10 Life Lessons You Can Learn from Children. Ms. Kelly list 10 reason why we are never too old to learn from our student and to incorporate these tips in our everyday interaction with our student.

  • Every day is a fresh start.
  • Be the hero.
  • Nurture friendship.
  • Creative pursuits are fun and good for you.
  • Be courageous.
  • Scars are badges of honor.
  • Try new things.
  • Be active.
  • Notice the little things.

I would like to encourage us all to remember some of our childhood wonders as a perfect way enrich the minds, lives and spirits of our children in our classroom.