Nyomi Hemphill’s grandmother told her, “The purpose of education is to change your situation.”
Hemphill absorbed that information.
A senior in the UNCG School of Education Teacher Fellows Program, Hemphill uses caring and creativity in her approach to teaching 21st century students. She has directed YouTube videos promoting the Teacher Fellows Program, conveying the positive attitude and energy of this newest wave of promising educators. It is in Hemphill’s “Philosophy of Education” video, however, that her innovative instincts emerge.
Using a “bitmoji” of herself, Hemphill engages viewers with imaginative illustrations from educational history, narrating through spoken word. Hemphill concludes that past educational reformers such as John Dewey and Maxine Greene offer valuable perspectives, but as an individual, Hemphill is compelled to formulate her own educational philosophy. Her investigation reveals a sincere investment in relationships and caring in the classroom. Veteran teachers may tear up watching Hemphill’s authentic message, touched by the re-discovered truth of a young teacher: Before learning can occur, students must believe in and trust the teacher who cares. Hemphill uses culturally relevant media, including Japanese anime, to relay her philosophical journey. Her commitment to students is pure and purposeful; she wants them to access the power of learning.
This creative Teacher Fellow, pursuing her bachelor of science in middle grades education, had her own situation changed as a recipient of the Judy Blackwelder Talbert and Daniel Scott Talbert Teacher Education Scholarship Fund.
Judy Blackwelder Talbert ’61 earned her bachelor’s degree in primary education at Woman’s College, and her son, Daniel Scott Talbert, earned his BFA at UNCG in 1992. Perseverance and sacrifice allowed Talbert and her sisters to go to WC, but her family would have appreciated assistance to ease the financial burden of higher education. Talbert inherited her parents’ respect for education and, as a first-generation college graduate, valued her access to a degree.
When Talbert and her husband, John, found themselves able to give back, they focused on UNCG’s School of Education. It is the Talberts’ hope their scholarship will attract the “best and brightest” aspiring teachers – Teacher Fellows like Nyomi Hemphill.
Hemphill demonstrates formidable skills as she dedicates herself to teacher training. Digital knowledge and creativity give her a special door through which she relates to students, a door upon which is written: “I care.”
Story by Zoe Dillard, Donor Relations
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