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Teacher Feature of the Week

Posted on Friday, March 22, 2024 at 3:30 pm

EDUCATION – Teacher Feature of the Week  – (Melanie Wiles, a 7th grade teacher at Forrest, finds her profession rewarding.)

    “Teaching has Been a Blessing” – Melanie Wiles

Teaching was never on my radar while growing up or even when attending college. I attended Lipscomb University, majoring in business and home economics (Fashion Merchandising). My family moved to Lewisburg while I was in college, and I eagerly accepted a job at Lewisburg Paint Store upon graduation. After sixteen years at the paint store (13 years as partners with Missie Haislip), meeting and marrying Mike Wiles, and having three children (Aaron, Natalie, and Trenton), I returned to college to pursue a second degree—an education degree from Trevecca University. My children were now starting school, and I was so greatly impacted by their teachers; Vylatte Gooch, Vickie London, Jane Aldridge, Judy Rickman, Evie Lowrance, and others touched my heart in a way they never knew.

All of my practice teaching was in Metro-Davidson County schools and I accepted my first teaching position at Lewisburg Middle School in 2002. I taught seventh grade Geography and Tennessee History for eleven years until the state of Tennessee restructured the curriculum. Since then, I have taught seventh grade World History and Language Arts. I stayed at LMS for twenty-one years; this is my first year teaching seventh grade at Forrest. I loved my years at LMS and I love my current position in Chapel Hill as well.

Is there anything I would have done differently? Not in the least! Teaching has been such a blessing to me and to my family. I love my job, I love my kids (my classroom kids—I feel like they are mine for a while), and I love working with them daily and watching them find their way through the quirky early-teen years!

Advice for aspiring teachers? Recognize each and every student’s life situations, academic strengths and challenges, and their learning styles. Every student brings their own set of individualities to the classroom; understanding those will help ensure each student’s success. And love them. And then teach your tail off and you will always go home knowing you did your best and with a full heart. Teaching isn’t for the faint of heart, but it sure is rewarding if you are one of those fortunate enough to have found your niche in education.