TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - “Being in the classroom was extra special because that’s where you really get to work with the students. And, you get to see them learn, and get to help them with their learning. That to me was the highlight of my career as the years I spent in the classroom,” said Kim Seigler, former principal of Tift County High School.
Kim Seigler is now retired after spending 32 years of service with the Tift County School System.
She spent 23 years in the classroom and nine years as a school administrator.
“Seeing technology change…When I first started teaching, my classroom had a blackboard. You wrote with chalk. We didn’t even have markerboards. And, all the copies of the things I gave the students came off a mimeograph machine or ditto machine,” said Seigler.
She said the greatest shift she’s seen in education is the changes in technology.
“We went from that to these last few weeks. You know, Tift County High School’s been operating completely online. And, so everything that we’ve done has depended on technology. So, that’s been a huge shift over my career watching the shift in technology,” said Seigler.
She also said social media has also changed the dynamic of education.
“Social media has changed schools. Students have a lot more access to the internet, and sometimes, to things they should not see or be a part of. And, that brings another realm, because not only now are we teaching about English, Math, Science, and Social Studies, we’re also teaching a lot of life skills. And, a lot of how to live in a virtual world,” said Seigler.
She said this year’s graduating class has adapted to all the challenges they faced this academic year.
“This senior class has always been a very special class. They care, they are a very caring class. They have had a lot of Blue Devil spirit. They’ve been a fun group of students. And, of all things for this to happen their senior year, but it’s made them stronger. I’ve watched them, at first, have all the disappointments of, you know, no spring sports, no prom, but they rose above that. And, the other day at diploma pick-up, they were so positive, so excited, and ready to go on and conquer the world. I think it’s tempered them and made them stronger individuals,” said Seigler.
She said she doesn’t have that many plans yet for her retirement.
“Right now, I plan to get some rest, some relaxation. I got a lot of closets to cleanout. And, but no big plans, just going to enjoy life for a little while,” said Seigler.
Seigler offered this advice to anyone perusing a career in education.
“I would definitely encourage them to go into education. This field is wide open. There’re so many opportunities, and we need good teachers. Teachers that are willing to come into our rural communities and serve our kids. I think this is the best place to be to teach. There’s no doubt about it. South Georgia is a wonderful place. We’ve got wonderful students. We just don’t have sometimes things that the big city life offers. But the people here are worth coming to South Georgia and being a part of education. There’s no career any better than teaching kids,” said Seigler.