LINCOLNTON, GA (WJBF)
Before there were kids. There were cows.
“I majored in Biology and Physics and wanted to be a vet. And worked at the University of Georgia dairy, during the ’96 Olympics, that summer. And what I fell in love with was teaching the vet students how to A.I., how to handle cows with mastitis, things like that.”
And just like that, Elizabeth Arthur’s focus moved from heifers to humans.
She taught middle school at first.
“And then, when my son was 3-years-old, I had one of the most influential people in my life, Martha Scroggs, ask me would I come and be her parapro,” Arthur says.” “And I decided not to go get my masters that year, but to work with her. Because I felt like she could teach me more than anybody else.”
Mrs.Scroggs told Mrs. Arthur to always remember to take time to listen to the children. To be present in their lives.
“Children have so much to say. And they make such a difference in our world.”
Mrs. Arthur says the typical school day affords ample opportunities to make a real connection.
“In the halls while you’re waiting to go to the restroom. Sitting down with them at the lunch table. I’m teaching them table manners. Things that just aren’t done anymore. When they come in in the mornings. When they’re not taking a nap.”
And hopefully all that listening will help her little ones become strong citizens one day.
“I want these children to realize how important and how special it is to live in a country that is free, and that they get choices,” she says. “I always teach them that because they get to make choices it’s their responsibility to make good choices.”
And what a good feeling when she sees that it’s all working. When she watches her former students grow up and do great things.
“To be able to go to the grocery store and have to stop 10-times to speak to people and check and see how they’re doing in school and how middle school is going, things like that. But I love it.”