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Kimberly Bacon-Davis: Teaching students through hands-on learning

AMERICUS — Kimberly Bacon-Davis loved school as a little girl, but her shyness made it a lonely place for her. Then one day, after she finished an assignment early, her teacher asked her to help others with their assignments and suddenly a career was born.
“It was like an out-of-body experience as I heard my shy voice explaining to my classmates how to complete the assignment,” said Bacon-Davis, Teacher of the Year at Sumter Middle School. “To see the lightbulb come on for each of my classmates filled me with an unexplained excitement. I began to use my strength of helping others to meet new people and gain new friends. With the isolation no longer present, school became my favorite place.”
It was just a matter of time before Bacon-Davis realized that the way she could stay in school forever would be to become a teacher. As a teacher, she recognizes that all students learn differently and so she incorporates a variety of teaching methods, including experienced-based learning techniques, to make sure everybody has an opportunity to learn.
“I may begin a lesson simply stating information to students,” she said. “I will in turn give them an opportunity to see what I am teaching in action, and they are then given an opportunity to put what they have heard and seen in action and actually do it themselves.”
Bacon-Davis sees innovative teaching techniques as essential for preparing today’s students for the challenges they face.
“The world of work requires that our students are preparing to enter require analytical minds and philosophical thinkers,” she said. “In order to properly prepare our students to be competitive in the world market, we must incorporate out-of-the-box thinking and real-world based activities which utilize current cutting edge technology.”