Teachers are Heroes: Kristen Morris brings elements of creativity to her class
Published on Thursday, May 20, 2021
BCSD photo / Monica Kreber
Kristen Morris comes from a line of teachers.
Morris is originally from Andrews, which is a town in Georgetown County, and both her mom and grandmother were teachers in the Georgetown area.
Morris said she enjoyed seeing her mom and grandmother in their teaching roles and seeing the impact they made on students – and how students would remember their teachers for it years later.
Now one of her favorite parts about teaching is seeing former students, and hearing how they remember her and the experiences they had in her class.
She said establishing those relationships early in her students’ lives is important so that they can use them later on.
“I think that’s the biggest thing I want to try to get out of the kids in my class,” she said.
Morris is in her seventh year teaching at Cane Bay Elementary, though she has taught a total of 11 years. She teaches fourth grade, all inclusive.
She studied elementary education at Winthrop University, where she was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and then went on to start her career in Georgetown County.
For a time she was living in Mt. Pleasant while teaching in Georgetown County and wanted to find a school closer to where she lived, and ended up landing a position at Cane Bay Elementary.
Morris has experience teaching third and fourth grade; she said she enjoys the age levels, and she can better communicate with them to set them up for success.
“They’re able to relate more and talk to me more about how they’re really feeling, and I’m able to get across to them how I want to help them,” she said.
In addition to her family members’ experience, Morris said she was also influenced to go into teaching by her first-grade teacher; Morris said this teacher made learning exciting and fun.
There was another teacher who never taught Morris, but Morris always liked her, and later in life Morris became the teacher’s long-term substitute when the former began her education career.
“She just inspired me,” Morris said.
Morris is part of the Leadership Team at Cane Bay Elementary and serves on the School Improvement Council. She is also part of the Data Team, which is a form of intervention to help provide extra support students in their learning.
Although she teaches all core subject areas, Morris’s favorite subject to teach now is social studies.
“I’m able to get them interactive with it, and they seem to be able to retain the information that I’m giving out for them when I’m teaching social studies, because I get into it, and then they’re able to do it also,” she said. “Just making it more engaging is what they enjoy about it.”
In her classroom, Morris’s students do something called Brain Breaks, which is when they take a second to back up away from work and do a quick activity like a game. Her students learning virtually participate as well; maybe the game they are playing will tell students to jump at their desk or do a quick math problem – something to transition from one subject to the next.
“Our Brain Breaks are awesome,” she said.
Morris is married to Lawrence, who owns a trucking business. They have a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. Their son will be at Cane Bay Elementary next school year. The family resides in Moncks Corner.
Outside of school Morris enjoys going out on the boat with her husband and watching her children participate in different sporting events. She also enjoys visiting family in Andrews.
Morris’s career goal is to remain in the classroom.
“I enjoy just having the kids be engaged,” she said. “I’m a creative person, so just being able to use that creativity in the classroom to help the students…I enjoy doing that.”
Morris said she wants her students to know they can achieve whatever they want.
“That’s what I try to focus on,” she said.