RICHLAND ONE EMPLOYEE PROFILE: Edward E. Taylor Elementary Teacher Meredeith Primus Brings Out Her Students’ Individualities
On a rainy January morning, Meredeith Primus sits down for story time with her second grade class at Edward E. Taylor Elementary School. She reads her 17 students the book “Something Beautiful” by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, which tells the story of a young girl determined to find beauty in her neighborhood. After reading the story, Primus tells her students how special they are, brightening up the gloomy day outside.
“One day, you will all grow up to be great leaders and show something beautiful in our world,” she said.
Primus then instructs her students to write about how they plan to make a difference in their lives and bring beauty to their world. All of her students have different ways they plan to change the world. Primus is determined to bring that individuality out of them.
“You have to let each child be themselves,” she said. “In order for their strengths to shine through, you have to make sure you’re giving your students the freedom to explore their differences and what makes them good learners.”
Primus, who is a Charleston native, comes from a family of educators. Her mother and grandmother were teachers, her father was an assistant principal and her daughter is a teacher.
“Teaching is just part of my family,” she said.
Primus has been teaching at Edward E. Taylor for more than 30 years. She started in 1991 as a combined fourth and fifth grade teacher. After that, she taught first and fifth grades before settling down in second grade in 2002. Primus says the community has been very supportive during her more than 30 years with the school.
“It’s an awesome community to work in,” she said. “The parents are so supportive and cooperative. The children come wanting to learn. It’s been an excellent experience here at E.E. Taylor.”
Primus says second grade has been the most fun grade for her to teach because she can tell those students are very excited to learn.
“You can see that excitement for learning in their faces,” she said. “They come involved and are focused and paying attention.”
Primus says it’s so important for her to make a connection with each of her students. She says this helps her meet her students’ needs.
“By being involved and interacting with the children, you get to see their strengths and their weaknesses,” said Primus. “I believe every child has strengths. By honing in on their strengths, these students will be the best they can be.”
Every day, Primus makes sure her students know they’re beautiful and special in their own way.
“No two children are exactly the same,” she said “Everyone brings their own character traits to the classroom.”
Primus’ advice for future teachers is to be passionate and prepared.
“By being passionate and prepared, the children will love being in your classroom,” she said.
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