Still crazy about teaching after all these years

Jan Bailey reflects on career of teaching in Fulton Public Schools after being named district's teacher of the year

Jan Bailey, Fulton Middle School teacher, helps eighth grader Alexus Weaver with her Power Point presentation Tuesday. Bailey is the 2014 recipient of the Fulton Public Schools Teacher of the Year award.

Jan Bailey, Fulton Middle School teacher, helps eighth grader Alexus Weaver with her Power Point presentation Tuesday. Bailey is the 2014 recipient of the Fulton Public Schools Teacher of the Year award. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

Fulton Middle School technology teacher Jan Bailey still gets butterflies in her stomach at the start of the school year, “just like all the other kids.”

As long as that is the case, Bailey said while sitting in her classroom Tuesday afternoon, “I’ll be right here.”

According to the nomination letter for Fulton Public Schools’ 2013-14 Teacher of the Year — Bailey was announced as the winner last week — that is exactly where her coworkers and students want her to stay.

“I would need many more pages and time to list all that Mrs. Bailey does for the building, district and community,” FMS Principal Chris Crane wrote in the nomination. “She is one of those rare people that you are lucky enough to only come across a few times in your career.

“Jan is truly in a category of her own, and this recognition would only be a small ‘thank you’ for what she brings each and every day to our students, staff, district and community.”

A Fulton graduate herself, Bailey started her teaching career at Bartley Elementary in 1992, where she previously had been a classroom volunteer for her children. She taught fourth grade at Bartley — where Bailey said she was “fortunate to work for Larry Flakne” — for 12 years before moving to the middle school to teach technology.

Bailey said her favorite thing about teaching technology is that her students are always engaged.

“They love it, and they’re totally engaged whether it’s a tough lesson or something they’re doing in down time,” she said. “The kids are very confident with it. When I first started, a Smart Board wowed them. Now they’re tech savvy.”

She said teaching “is a huge, huge responsibility.”

“I owe it to the parents and Fulton Public Schools to do the best I can,” Bailey said.

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