It’s their job: Teacher says children most enjoyable part of job

Caron Powers is a second-grade teacher at James Elementary School.

Background: Powers grew up in Carlsbad and came to Portales to attend college at Eastern New Mexico University. After college she commuted from Portales to Morton, Texas, where she taught for one year before being hired at the Portales Municipal Schools system. She is married to Michael Powers and has one son attending New Mexico State University and another at Portales High School.

Years on Job: 27

What does your job entail? Powers says she arrives at 7:30 a.m. and helps serve her students breakfast in the classroom. She teaches all subjects at this level from math and reading to manners. She says she tries to go home by 4 p.m. but that doesn’t happen too often. She says the job has become more demanding over the last few years because of the variety of things that are now taught.

Why did you choose this job? “I always like working with young children,” Powers said. “I always thought I would work with 3- and 4-year-olds, but once I started working with second-graders, that was it. The children are a little more independent. I do love my job.”

What training or education is required? Powers has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from ENMU. She said she would recommend obtaining at least a bachelor’s degree in education and taking as many early childhood classes as possible. She says it is important to get as much experience in the classroom as a student teacher as possible before taking the first classroom assignment. She says ENMU does a good job of providing that experience.

She says dedication and a love for teaching are also necessary. “Your work is never done,” she adds.

What do you enjoy most about the job? “The children. I also enjoy that it’s never the same thing. You get the good and the bad, you never get in a rut. I do enjoy the Portales School system.”

What’s the best fringe benefit? “I get to come and do what I want to do every day with children. I love being with my kids,” said Powers.

— Compiled by PNT Correspondent Karl Terry