Jacksboro Middle School 8th grade science teacher Nikki Bumgardner is featured in this week’s WLAF Teacher Feature

By Charlotte Underwood

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Teachers are the heartbeat of a community.

This week’s WLAF Teacher Feature salutes Jacksboro Middle School Teacher Nikki Bumgardner. 

Bumgardner teaches eighth grade science and is in her 19th year as an educator.

Bumgardner said she became a teacher 19 years ago after looking into several “money making” career choices that her “heart was not happy in.”  “I decided to take a Myers Briggs test to help narrow down what I would be most happy doing.  Teaching was recommended, and it has been a love story ever since,” Bumgardner said.

She said she feels she is exactly where God wants her to be and He shows her “daily with the students that I teach.”  “My kids are a blessing to me everyday and even more so during this pandemic.  I can’t express how happy I am to be back with them,” Bumgardner said.

She said her favorite part of teaching is that “Zing” moment when you can see the look in the students’ eyes or faces when they put a concept together for the first time or when they accomplish something they thought they couldn’t do. They have such a sense of accomplishment and are so proud of themselves for a split second.  I also love to see concepts through their eyes.  “They continually challenge me to look at things differently,” said Bumgardner.

With all the unique challenges faced by teachers in 2020, Bumgardner said she still saw positives all around, especially coming from the students.

“If nothing else- I think that we have found a new respect for school.  You never know how much you miss something until you can’t do it anymore. I know that we are not continuing classes in the traditional ways in the school buildings, but we are happy to be together and see each other during this age of COVID,” Bumgardner said.

She said the students feel that going to school is more of a privilege now than a daily grind and despite the daily challenges to this “new normal” she believes that this also “shows the love and dedication that teachers have for their profession and students.”

“We are constantly rising to these challenges to conquer them. Also what better way of teaching critical thinking skills!  Here is the problem- create a solution within these parameters.”

Bumgardner said she “can’t wait to see the new solutions that the future holds for students and teachers alike.  Greatness always comes from adversity and we are going to rock it!” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/08/2020-6AM)