We continue our ongoing series on the Atlanta Families’ Awards for Excellence in Education winners with a profile of Cathy Carter, third-grade department chair at West Manor Elementary School. Currently in her third year at West Manor, Carter also serves on the Mathematics and Science Committee, the One Fair Committee and School Programs Committee, and is a member of the Georgia Science Teachers Association.
Carter has been a teacher for 13 years, all but two with APS. She began her teaching career at Gideons Elementary, where she taught for eight years and was the recipient of Project GRAD-Atlanta’s Master Teacher Award in 2004. She has taught at Oak Knoll Elementary in Fulton County and was a mentor for the Butterflies Girl’s Mentoring group. She also taught Charles Drew Charter School, where she served as mentor with the Go Girl Go Program. She led as a summer camp Creative Writing Coach for students in grades K-8 at the East Lake YMCA via Drew Charter.
“As an educator, my goal is to engage my students in purposeful learning experiences that will enhance their ability to think critically, make real life connections and demonstrate individual and collaborative efforts in and beyond the classroom,” Carter said. “I envision my students evolving into adults who possess a high degree of self-respect and respect for others. They will go forth with an adventurous appreciation for life and be contributors to a better society.”
For her Atlanta Families’ Awards project, Carter hopes to take advantage of a small area of West Manor near the right side of the building that would be an ideal location for an outdoor classroom. The outdoor classroom will consist of the following interdisciplinary learning stations — edible garden, butterfly garden, pond and study area.
“I hope this can be utilized by all grade levels for science curriculum but also for interdisciplinary study, for math, social studies and writing as well,” said Carter. “There’s a need for environmental education, and kids have become out of touch with nature because they spend so much time sitting on the couch, whether it’s playing video games or watching TV, or the computer.”