By Lynette Norris
Green Publishing, Inc.
Victoria Crews has been teaching school since she was in second grade.
As a second grader, Victoria, the youngest of four children, discovered her lifelong desire to teach. However, since all her siblings were older than she was, she played school with her dolls.
A typical school day for her dolls included getting on and off the bus safely, going to the cafeteria and paying attention to their teacher in class. “I’d have roll call, give them tests, the whole nine yards,” said Crews.
Her mom and dad fully supported her dream, even providing her with chalk and allowing her to write on walls and the backs of doors while she taught her “second graders.” Her parents also played the part of school principals, occasionally looking on the “class” to see how things were going.
“Imagination can take you a long way if you just believe in your dreams,” she said. Now, she lives her dream every day with real children instead of dolls, commuting from Valdosta where she grew up, to Greenville Elementary School where she teaches a real second grade class. This year, she was also chosen as Greenville Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
Her passion for teaching was inspired by her own second grade teacher, Mrs. B. Johnson. “She was one of those teachers who was also ‘mom.’ She was a teacher first, but she also wanted her students to feel safe, secure and loved.”
That positive environment awakened a desire to follow Mrs. Johnson’s example. Although she never learned Mrs. Johnson’s first name, she knew what she wanted to do with her life.
Teaching, her lifelong dream, is now her passion. “Just to see the smiles on the children’s faces after accomplishing a task. The ‘ooh’ and the ‘ahh’ and the ‘wow, I did it!’”
At least one other sibling shares her love of teaching. Her brother, William Crews, just moved to North Carolina to accept an instructor position at a community college. Another brother Eric Young, is an independent contractor for a military base in Pooler, Ga., and her sister Tammie Davis is a cosmetologist in their hometown of Valdosta.
She also has an eight-year-old son who goes to school in Valdosta, and a 20-year-old goddaughter.
Before teaching at Greenville, she taught another second grade class at Madison County Central School, where her teaching caught the attention of Principal Davis Barclay. When he transferred to Greenville Elementary, he remembered her, and when an opening appeared at GES and Crews applied for it, he made sure he hired her. “I was in San Francisco at the time, and I hired her from there,” he said. “Have I mentioned what a wonderful, wonderful teacher she is?”
It started with a dream, and that dream was inspired by another wonderful teacher who helped Victoria Crews realize what she wanted to be.
“My motto is ‘educating young minds for future times,” she said.
So perhaps even now, there is a second grader sitting in her class, who will one day realize his or her own dream of teaching, a dream that Victoria Crews herself will have inspired for the future.