Moore Teacher Write-Ups is a series on local educators highlighting the women and men who are raising our next generation, and to whom we entrust our children every day.
Heather Sprinkle has been a teacher in Moore County for 18 years. In her first two years, she served as a teacher’s assistant. Sprinkle has been at Crain’s Creek Middle School since the school opened.
Sprinkle is a Moore County native. She is married to a senior inspector with Terminix and has a son who is a police officer, and her daughter manages a dental office.
When asked what the most significant challenge facing teachers is, she said remote learning did not go well for many, and they lost the ability to be students. For example, remote learning has been difficult for many students who had to be self-disciplined.
“The students have shown resilience coming back to the classroom after COVID,” said Sprinkle. “They have worked hard to get back into a normal school day routine.”
She has seen a fair amount of progress, and the gap is closing for some students. She uses a program called “Course Mastery.”
Sprinkle teaches sixth-grade math. She tries to make math relatable to real-world situations. She talked to her 23-year-old son, and he told her, “you know, Mom, I have never had to use Pythagorean’s theorem (calculating the sides of an obtuse triangle), so she tries to make math engaging and applicable.
Her students think she is funny, and she tries to make things fun, so her students will want to come to class.
“I do use humor in my class, and I want the students to want to be excited to come to math, and that is very important to me to form positive, caring relationships with each of my students.”
Sprinkle’s upbringing was challenging. Growing up, she went through many of the things that her students go through now. It makes her able to relate to the students and their struggles. She had a lot of struggles with anxiety as an adult because of how uncertain her early life was.
She also had two younger brothers who passed away within a short period of time. And she has often prayed asking why God allowed this to happen. The only answer she could come up with was that it makes her more relatable.
Sprinkle shared what it’s like to come in contact with former students, and how she feels connected with them.
“I have kids that I taught years ago that come back and are so happy to see me,” said Sprinkle. “I want them to learn the curriculum, but it is more important that they know I love them and care about them. I want them to know, whether it is tomorrow or 20 years from now, that they can come back to me.”
If you have a teacher you would like to nominate to be showcased in this series, please email [email protected].
~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice.