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Melanie Gaddy, History This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Melanie Gaddy is a special teacher when it comes to her subject, South Carolina ­history: she's lived it. Long ago her family owned slaves, helping her ­understand what life was like, and how people were treated.

When she was growing up, there were no African-American children in her classes; having been through these rough times, she's able to explain how much life has changed since she was in eighth grade. Her father was a teacher, too, and he told her that he would support her decision to be anything she wanted, except a teacher. Since that was all she wanted, she earned the ­tuition herself. She wanted to be a person who inspires people. Trust me, her wish came true.

Mrs. Gaddy's classes always include a PowerPoint presentation on key points in South Carolina history, but she always tells us that even though we need to watch the presentation and write down the information, she's the one who's going to tell us what we need to know.

She is the Fact Queen; she knows the history by heart and her lectures are the best. She never bores us, and always has a fun activity to help us enjoy the lesson and remember what happened – for example, re-enacting the battles of the American Revolution with homemade equipment. It's something that only Mrs. Gaddy's students – “Gaddy's Angels” – do.

The first week of school, she told us, “Anyone can get an A on a multiple-choice test. It takes a thinker, and someone who listens, to get an A on one of my tests. This isn't a multiple-choice class. You will write history in my class, and you will show me what you know.” But Mrs. Gaddy's tests are fun; they allow us to use the writing portion of the test to show every single thing we've learned from the PowerPoints and lectures to impress Mrs. Gaddy.

Mrs. Gaddy creates an exciting class, incorporating a new style of learning every week, from paideia seminar to whole-class activities. But the one thing you really need to know about her is that she cares about every one of her students, teaching us how to learn and how to live. South Carolina history isn't great unless Melanie Gaddy is at the lectern, inspiring each and every one of her “angels.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

Reader said...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm:
Amazing article.
 
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Brit H said...
May 28, 2010 at 6:56 am:
This is sooo true of Mrs. Gaddy. She is one of the best teachers I have ever had and I will remember her always. Mrs. Gaddy is amazing and those who don't know her you are missing out. Dallas you did great explaining this to the world!!!
 
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Mrs. Massey said...
May 27, 2010 at 6:47 am:
Oh boy, this is so true!  Dallas you hit the nail on the head.  :) Ms. Gaddy is by far one of the most brilliant minds in teaching.  :) Happiest regards on your writing Dallas!  
 
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bru1226 said...
May 26, 2010 at 7:03 pm:
Dallas you said with style and heart.  To know that you make a difference means everything to a person and you have done that for Ms. Gaddy.  You are always willing to give of yourself.  I know you are on the road to greatness.  oxoxo
 
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Dr.D said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm:
What a great compliment to Mrs. Gaddy and written with such style! I am impressed and glad to know that students are actively engaged in rigorous activities that promote a love of learning here at FMS.
 
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1OfMrsGaddysStudent said...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm:
This article is nothing but the truth. Mrs. Gaddy is an amazing teacher.
 
TheWriterInMe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 20, 2010 at 9:39 am :
Who are you?
 
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drewgsc said...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 10:44 am:
That's my wife! She is like that at home and every aspect of her life. Love you!
 
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Eileen Patonay said...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm:
What enlightening words by a wonderful student about a terific teacher!
 
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Mrs. Necessary said...
Feb. 18, 2010 at 10:19 am:
Dallas, you always think of others - which is why you're such a wonderful young man to have in class! Thank you for helping to shine light on some of our great teachers!
 
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