He’d been teaching world history at Garinger High. He came to the profession late, this being his fifth year of teaching.
He’s been making up for lost time.
James Ford, 33, was named earlier this month the 2014 North Carolina Teacher of the Year.
In an appearance today at the Forum, Ford wowed a crowd containing more than a sprinkling of former educators. He spoke of the critical roles that teachers play in the maintenance of America’s democracy, and in the development of all professions, and how teachers deserve more respect.
But mostly he talked about young people. He said he sees his unevenly motivated teenaged self in many of his struggling students. He said he pins his hope for them on the expansion of mentoring programs.
Below are Ford’s introductory remarks and the Q&A that followed.