In one of his letters to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul told the church members: "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." (I Corinthians 13:1 NIV) Visiting the classroom of Madison County Central School (MCCS) first-grade teacher Pam Blue, one can easily see this Bible verse being personified on a daily basis. Blue's sincere love for the students in her care is clearly a driving force for this third-year teacher.
Blue, a 1984 graduate of Taylor County High School, in Perry, Fla., knew from an early age that she was called to be a teacher. One could even say it was genetic. Her great-grandfather, Calvin McLain was a traveling teacher who served schools in Madison, Jefferson and Taylor Counties many years ago. After raising her own children, Blue decided to put aside her job as a Medical Transcriptionist and go back to school to pursue the profession she had been called into. "I always knew I wanted to be a teacher," said Blue. "When I graduated from high school, it just wasn't possible, financially. Later, I had children of my own and working as a Medical Transcriptionist was a good fit. When my youngest graduated, I decided it was time to follow that calling. I enrolled in school at North Florida [Community College], in 2015 and later transferred to the University of West Florida. It was all in God's timing, because I would not have been nearly as successful if I had gone to college right out of high school." Blue graduated with honors from both North Florida Community College and the University of West Florida.
Blue graduated from the University of West Florida in December of 2017 and is now in her third year of teaching first grade at MCCS. "I love the kids," says Blue. "My favorite thing is building relationships with these kids." Blue makes a concerted effort to spend time with each student in her class in order to build those relationships. So far, those relationships have proven to be lasting. "I have students from my first class who are in third grade now who still come by, just to say 'hello' and to get a hug," says Blue with a sincere smile.
Blue says that life was not easy as a child. She did not enter the first grade until she was eight. She says the financial hardships she faced as a youngster helps her to relate to many of her students today. "Some of these students have had a rough life outside the classroom. I can relate to a lot of that," said Blue.
Both of Blue's children are currently working or have worked in the education field in Taylor and Jefferson Counties. Along with Blue working in Madison County, they have served the same area that Blue's great-grandfather served decades before. No doubt he is looking down with pride.