Making sure each student knows he or she is smart enough to accomplish their dreams is one of the most important things Springfield-Clark County Career Technology Center teacher Michelle Carn does.
“I love what I do each and every day,” she said.
Carn is a high school English teacher at the career center and was named a recipient of the Springfield Rotary Club’s annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. She will be honored by the group on Monday, March 19. The Springfield News-Sun is a sponsor of the award.
She decided while she was in eighth grade that she was going to become a teacher, she said, because she wanted to follow her role models.
“My own teachers, they were pretty inspiring,” Carn said. “My teachers served as someone who believed in me. So now I want to give back and I feel that gratitude should be something everyone lives their life with and teaching affords me that opportunity to give back to my students in the same way that my teachers gave me.”
Her teachers were the first ones that told her that she could go to college and become a teacher, Carn said, and their belief propelled her into the career.
She now gets to share that with her students.
“I get to let them know that there is someone on their side rooting them on like someone did for me,” she said. “Make them believe that with education, be it formal or informal, there is an option for them to pursue their dreams.”
Carn brings optimism to the classroom every day, Springfield-Clark County CTC Executive Director Chris James said.
“She is the ultimate positive person,” James said. “Every time you talk to her, you can see there is no rainy day. She is all about sunshine and everything.”
Carn said she hopes her former students still believe in themselves and are pursuing their goals.
“Students are drawn to her personality-wise and she is able to make those really good relationships with students where they really trust her and the education she is providing,” James said. “And above and beyond that, she is super creative as she creates the assignments and lessons that she does.”