Carolina Forest High School’s teacher of the year, Allison Prol, isn’t bored anymore.
She and her husband Jared, who also teaches and coaches at CFHS and who has also been a teacher of the year, came to the area from West Virginia.
“We had good teaching jobs, we had a great little house, but we were just bored,” she said.
They put their house up for sale with the belief that “if it sold and we got new jobs, then God wanted us to move, and those things happened,” she said.
Prol teaches biology at CFHS where she’s been seven of her 10 teaching years.
She’s surprised and pleased by the connections she establishes with her students and thinks those connections are vital to mutual respect and appreciation.
“If you don’t like someone or don’t think they mean well for you, you won’t care what they have to say,” she said.
Prol tells her students often that she’d love for them to love science when they leave her classroom. Knowing, however, that all of them won’t, she said she at least wants them to know that in that classroom they’ll feel cared about and they’ll learn something.
“They wouldn’t get that connection with some random adult standing in front of them for an hour and a half every day.”
The teacher of the year said her main goal for her students is not necessarily to love, but to respect and appreciate science.
Prol said she shows her passion for science and her students tease her because she gets excited.
“I talk to them in terms of what they see every day and I relate it to their real lives.
“Even if they don’t think science is as awesome and cool as I do, I hope they at least develop an appreciation for it.”
The connections that are important to Prol are, she said, built slowly.
If she were giving advice to a new teacher about how to make those connections, she’d say, “Be positive and supportive and let them know that even if they aren’t successful in something, or if they make a mistake, let them know you’re there to help them through it.
“Tell them that you think they’re capable of achieving what they want to do in the classroom. Ask them about their families. Ask them about their hobbies.
“Get to know more than just what grade they have in your class. Let them get to know you too and to know that you’re human.”
Talking about life outside of school, Prol, who has a 3-year-old toddler, said, “I’m a Mom. My son and I go to the beach, we go to Brookgreen, we spend time outside.”
If there is a teacher you would like to recognize in Horry County, use the link below to nominate them in our Teacher of the Month ballot sponsored by Sparks Toyota. The teacher with the most votes by the end of the month will win: https://bit.ly/3ozNJSl