Madison Magazine June-July 2019 - Page 10

C.C. Payne signs a book for a Clark-Moore’s Middle School student. mer, it would become boring…if the latter, it would be unbearable,” Smith said. After all her time working it the Read- ing Recovery Program, there is always going to a be a child who challenges her way of thinking. “The daily challenge is motivating and gives me a sense of having done some- thing valuable for our children and our teachers,” Smith said. But it’s not just the daily challenge Smith has to deal with, but also not hav- ing enough time in the day or money in the budget to provide all of the services that children of Madison County need. Recent budget cuts have hurt those who need the funds most — children in public schools. In January 2018, Governor Matt Bevin proposed a budget cut to K-12 education by $198 million, or 4.8 percent, and would see the possible elimination of textbooks, writing programs, Madison County Early Intervention Services and more. But even when facing adversity in her job, there are so many things Smith en- joys about her work, like the relationships she gets to build with other teachers and their students. Because of the nature of her training, which includes a year-long initial training and then monthly professional develop- ment after that, Smith is able to create cherished relationships with extraordi- nary teachers. “I think we’ve trained around 120 teach- ers in our site and I’m still in contact with many of them who have retired, moved to other jobs or work in other districts,” Smith said. “They influence my thinking and learning just as much as I do theirs and that bond is something I’ve grown to understand and appreciate more over the years.” She said she could fill page after page with stories about her Reading Recov- ery students and their successes, but it’s those same teachers she cherishes that she gives credit to for changing the fu- tures of the children in Madison County Public Schools. “I’m grateful to play a role in helping teachers acquire new and better strate- gies to address their needs, but it is their boots on the ground that makes the differ- ence,” Smith said. An important part of Smith’s work is making sure all of the training and ana- lyzing of data that’s being done is actually working and impacting Madison County students. Smith said they routinely survey their students at the end of their time in Read- ing Recovery to understand how their work has impacted them. A few of the Reading Recovery teachers were able to track down dozens of former Reading Recovery students, even a few who were in college. “Many of them talked about having good grades or test scores or something of that nature. However, an incredible number of them talked about being proud of them- selves, enjoying life and school or believ- ing they could set any goal and reach it,” Smith said. “Reading those messages showed me the potential of what we do to shape a child’s identity and truly change their trajectory as learners and humans. It is an overwhelming privilege and chal- lenge to be part of that.” As far as her future is concerned, Smith said age and experience have taught her to stay more focused on the now and maybe a year down the road, despite being a firm believer of five- to ten-year plans when she was younger. But whatever is in store, she knows it will be a success. “In the next year, we actually have an exciting new opportunity to expand our professional development model, so that it includes classroom teachers in a more comprehensive way. I am partnering with the Teacher Leaders in Fayette County and the University of Kentucky,” Smith said. “We are hopeful about the out- comes.” C.C. Payne talks with book club students at Clark-Moores Middle School. READY TO BUY? GIVE US A TRY! NAR - Certified for SENIORS KAE (Payne) SCHENNBERG PRINCIPAL BROKER 859-806-3845 SCHENNBERG REALTY, LLC , 211 GERI LANE RICHMOND, KY 40475 EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY 10 E-Mail: Madison Magazine J U N E - J U LY 2 0 1 9 A distinctive, charming eatery & bar that represents a refi ned style. Open Tues. - Thurs. 4 pm to 9 pm, Fri. & Sat. 3 pm to 9:30 pm 2187 Lexington Rd, Suite 7, Richmond (859) 575-1236 Party Room Ren tal Available!