Anderson University College of Education
Stanley Scott: Seeking the greater good
Not long after graduating from Anderson University, Stanley Scott advanced from being a classroom teacher to assistant principal.
Regardless of his role, Stanley is energized that he gets to shape children's lives during their early education.
How has your school year been?
The school year has been a lot of learning. This is my first year as assistant principal, and it’s been just full of so much trial and error, but I give thanks to the other members of the administration team I work with because they have been a blessing. They’ve helped me to be more of that instructional leader, that servant leader that’s really needed in schools today.
Tell me about Northside Elementary.
Northside is in Seneca, South Carolina. I taught fifth grade here for a year and then was moved up to assistant principal.
How did you become interested in education?
I knew that I wanted to work with children in some capacity and I think teaching is the best profession for that because you get the first hand in shaping and molding children and helping them see what it means to be a productive member of society. And that may look different for each kid, but I knew then that I wanted to be able to help and guide the next generation of children.
How did you discover Anderson University?
I heard that Anderson was really good at creating teachers and helping teachers cultivate their learning style. They’re known for building the best teachers, and I want to be the best. I knew that in order to be the best educator that I could be that Anderson would help me and give me the tools to be successful in the classroom. Leadership teachers would always say that Anderson creates the best teachers, and I wanted to be a part of the best.
Now that you’re an assistant principal, is the job what you expected it to be?
Yes and no. I think when it comes to being an assistant principal, or just in leadership, you have to learn that your classroom expands. In fifth grade I had 15 kids and I had to worry about their success. When you go into administration and leadership, your classroom expands and you’re no longer just in charge of one fifth-grade class. You are looking over all of the fifth-grade classes, all of the fourth-grade classes, because essentially that becomes your entire classroom. We have pre-K through fifth grade.
My first year I was in charge of kindergarten through second grade. That was a learning experience because I did all of my teaching in the upper elementary, so I taught third grade and I taught fifth grade and I did practicum experiences in fourth grade. Being in kindergarten through second grade, that was an experience I’ll never forget. I learned so much.
I think a lot of times people think that when you go into administration or leadership that you have it all and know it all, when that’s the total opposite. I look at principals and assistant principals as the ultimate teacher, because you’re still learning. As you’re providing leadership, you’re still learning and so anytime I went into classrooms, into kindergarten, first- or second-grade classrooms it was always to learn how they’re teaching those kids, learn how small group instruction happens, learn how you’re teaching this basic math concept and how they carry that concept to fifth grade and third grade and fourth grade. It's understanding the relationship between early childhood and upper elementary.
What are some ways your Anderson University education has benefited you?
I think getting in the classroom as early as I did helped with aspects that I would need to be successful now, things like learning everything I can instructionally, how teachers teach, and learning how to lead teachers. Being at AU gave me a lot of opportunities to cultivate that. Now I’m a more effective assistant principal and, hopefully, a principal one day.
You were part of Call Me MISTER while at Anderson University. How did that help you?
Everything about the Call Me MISTER program speaks excellence. Being around guys that share some of the same experiences as myself in the classroom and even outside the classroom made me a better teacher and it also established some of the best relationships that I have and will continue to have because those guys have been there for me on a personal level as well as helping me grow as a teacher. I wouldn't be where I am without that family atmosphere and without some of those guys being in my corner.
At the end of the day, what gives you the greatest feeling of accomplishment?
Knowing I make my family proud. I’m setting an example for my children and even the children in my classroom—being that example for them to later go by to help with their success.
Are there any times you observed students in a class and you saw you were making an impact, that learning was taking place?
I’ve been able to go in and model lessons, and I think for some kids, just seeing—especially African American kids—just seeing someone like them leading in the class. That’s just phenomenal. I get so much feedback. The realize they can do what I'm doing when they grow up.
What advice would you give someone considering a career in education?
Never forget to seek the greater good. Children need you. Children need someone that is going to be positive and love them, especially during the hard times. It's all about being a consistent figure that they need in their life.
Any closing thoughts about Anderson University?
I had some of the best professors while I was attending AU and just brought the best out in me. I want to highlight Mrs. Kay Babecky. I don’t know if she’s still working there, but that lady saved my life. She was so influential to me and helped me in so many ways by holding me accountable, making sure I had everything I needed, and just really being that voice of saying, “You can do this.”