Vicky Segerson is dedicated to her students.
“It’s all about the children. It’s me, it’s in my blood. They deserve to have teachers that really have the passion to teach and care about their education and well-being,” she said in an interview with Studies Weekly.
Segerson is a second-grade teacher at BridgePrep Academy Palm Beach, a charter school in Florida, and many education skills. In addition to the classroom, she and her husband spent a decade as foster parents, caring for 14 foster children during that time. This experience dramatically changed her perspective on what children really need.
“Most children I encountered could not read on grade level because no one took the time nor cared about them at home. That is where my husband and I stepped in,” she said. “It is so gratifying when you see the excitement on a child’s face because he or she is able to do their math by themselves, or read you a book from beginning to end.”
Segerson has been in education now for 15 years.
“After working in the travel industry for many years, I decided to get a job in the school district so I could be on the same schedule as my children,” she said.
She started in a middle school media center. At the encouragement of her principal, she went back to school part time in 2007 for an education degree. Segerson continued to work full time while caring for her son and first foster child. She graduated with her bachelor’s in 2009 with a 4.0 GPA.
She enjoys what she does, but working in the charter school system has its challenges, she explained.
“Even though we are part of the public school system, as a tuition-free charter school, we do not have carte blanche access to all the resources that public schools get. As a not-for-profit tuition-free charter school we have to constantly fundraise,” she explained. “I’ve worked in district public schools and the access to resources is practically endless, whereas in the charter schools we need to be very creative in finding resources we can use in the classroom. We must find ways to raise the funds in order to get access to the same resources.”
But again, the struggles are worth it, and she stays in the profession to be one of those teachers making a difference. To see growth and learning in her students, even when the accomplishments are small — that keeps her trying.
And of course, those kids have the power to make her day.
“The hugs from my second graders on my birthday or Valentine’s Day. The kindergarten and first graders that run up to you and say, ‘Hello Mrs. Segerson,’ with a big hug and a smile, yet you haven’t officially been introduced. All this is why I stay,” she said.
Segerson uses the Florida Studies Weekly social studies publications, and has for two years. She said her students like the magazine format, the videos on the online platform, and participating in the whiteboard read-a-longs, games and quizzes. They also love earning RevPoint Coins each week.
Segerson enjoys how user-friendly the teacher resource guide is, and the suggestions for “using literature resources, technology and digital resources, and … differentiated instruction for both English Language and Gifted Learners.”
“I like that the curriculum map and standard correlations are listed specifically for each week’s topic. It contains the background information I need to use in my opening routine, along with the learning objectives, sample lesson tasks, and questions I can use that are rated by their cognitive complexity level,” she said.
Segerson is a devoted educator, and an awesome example of the many teachers out there making a significant difference for America’s children.