When she was a student at Stratford High School in Goose Creek, Kimberly Freeman enjoyed being a teacher cadet.
She loved interacting with her peers and felt like teaching was the right kind of career for her. Her experience in high school seemed to “seal the deal” because Freeman would later go on to become a teacher in Dorchester District Two.
After high school Freeman attended Clemson University before transferring to Charleston Southern University. She studied English and secondary education during her time in school. She later became a student teacher at Fort Dorchester High School, applied within the district and became a teacher at Givhans Alternative Program, where she has now been for 11 years.
The 33-year-old teaches freshman seminar and read 180 at Givhans, and in the past has also taught English I as well as middle school English/Language Arts.
“I wanted to become a teacher because I felt I could make a connection with students,” she said. “I could instill a love of literature words, language and I felt like maybe I could make a difference for somebody like so many teachers did for me.”
Her first year at Givhans Freeman was awarded Rookie Teacher of the Year. Eleven years later she was recognized again, this time as Teacher of the Year. She was also named one of DD2’s Honor Teachers of the Year.
She said it is hard to know why she would be selected as Teacher of the Year but would like to think it is because at Givhans, Freeman considers herself to be a team player.
“I try to work hard and I hope that is what people saw in me, and just my desire to keep trying to do something better and different each day,” she said.
Freeman said her life goal is to make a positive difference in students’ lives. She has aspirations to obtain her masters, which she has been trying to receive in literacy from University of Texas at Arlington, though she is on a break right now.
Her best experience teaching has been any time she realizes a student has learned something that they had not grasped before. Her worst experience teaching is dealing with frustration she gets from students who have the potential and skills to succeed, but allow poor choices to get in their way.
Freeman said she enjoys the grade level she teaches because students have more independence.
“They have some independence they can use to work through things, they are inquisitive still and you can show them how things relate to the real world,” she said. “And most of them need somebody on their side. It’s a difficult time period transitioning between adolescence, and I felt like that was a good age group to work with and really make a difference.”
Aside from teaching Freeman stays active with the school’s Sunshine Committee, and also does work with the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI).
Outside of school Freeman enjoys reading and spending time outdoors. She also enjoys writing and said another thing she loves about teaching is being able to follow her passion and work with kids at the same time.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” she said.
Freeman plans to continue to work harder every year and meet more goals with her students, and try to prepare them for both college and their careers.
“I think it’s not just one person who makes the experience,” she said. “It’s kind of all of us together. It’s great co-workers, wonderful administrators who are supportive and who push you to do more, who encourage you to think outside the box. I think all those things have contributed.”