Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Patrick

Mackenzie Lawrence, Staff Writer

Kimberly Patrick, English teacher here at Stephen Decatur High School, teaches both American Literature and AP Literature.

“I get so excited when students love reading and writing and have success in class and beyond,” Patrick said.

Her day as a teacher is nothing less than busy. It consists of preparing lessons, getting materials together, grading, dealing with technology issues, and so much more.

“As soon as I walk in the building, it feels like I’m running a race,” Patrick added, “There’s always many many things to do. I’m problem solving all of the time.”

Although being a teacher could be a little chaotic at times, she said it makes everything worthwhile when Patrick gets to see her students excel in class and even in the future. To this day, she still follows up with students to see their accomplishments.

According to Patrick, she wants her students to live “the examined life.” This goes along with the famous Socrates quote: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

“I want students to be thoughtful in their decisions about what they want to do with their lives, what careers they want to do, and to have a happy life and success in their jobs,” she said.

Unlike some other teachers at Decatur, Patrick is not originally from this area. She was born in Ohio and moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, at a young age.

Growing up, her parents owned a condominium in Ocean City and when she grew old enough, she decided to spend her summers there by the beach. Patrick liked this experience so much that she decided to move to Ocean City in 2001. “I’ve always enjoyed being down in Ocean City,” she said.

As far as college goes, Patrick originally attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and then spent a year on exchange at Colorado State University. After, she attended George Washington University to gain her masters degree in secondary English education and graduated in 1998.

Patrick started working here at Decatur in the fall of 2004 after working at Snow Hill Middle School. This gave her a shorter commute and satisfied her want to work with high schoolers. “It was an opportunity to teach at a great high school,” she said.

In her free time, Patrick said she loves to go to the beach. Being outside in the sun at the drive-on beach at Assateague Island National Seashore provides her with relaxation that she may have trouble getting at school.

Oscar Li, a junior who is taking her American Literature class, describes her class as “enjoyable” and likes the way she teaches.

“A lot of teachers tend to forget those introverted, quiet students,” he said, “but Mrs. Patrick actually gets them involved and I really like that about her. It keeps the classroom lively.”

Another junior taking American Literature, Riley Calloway, sees this transformation in students’ behavior towards engaging in class discussion too. One of his favorite parts of the class is how Patrick teaches her content.

“She relates her class material to real life situations and problems within the world,” Calloway said. This gives students a better understanding of the content and gets them interested in the lesson.

Patrick continues to teach because she loves when students “get it,” she said.

“When they can make the connections to what we’re learning in class to the real world. It helps them understand the world a little bit better and gets them to think critically. I just feel like education is the key for people to have a better life and for society to be better,” she said.