Before Magnet: Ms. Snelgrove

The One and Only

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Did you know Ms. Snelgrove speaks German?

This year I will be continuing the Before Magnet series originally by Caroline YoungAdriana Carter, and Savannah Wray. In my first week I interviewed Ms. Snelgrove, a second year biology teacher.

Q: What are some stories you remember from your childhood?

One story that comes to mind is when I was about 5 years old my family went to Edisto Beach.  I had just gotten a Shamu Whale raft and was super excited to try it out. Right when we got to the beach, I insisted that my dad inflate the giant raft right then and I hopped in the ocean. I was super excited until about 10 minutes later I realized I had floated way too far out. I had already gotten attached to the raft and tried my hardest to swim back in with it but I soon realized I was not going to make it back with the raft.  I was so sad to have to let it go and swim back to shore without it. I remember just standing on the beach sobbing as the Shamu whale raft drifted out. 

Q: Have you met any celebrities?

It is not your normal celebrity, but since I went to Wofford for College I met Chaser.  He was a professor’s border collie that has been interviewed many times. Professor Pilley taught Chaser to recognize over a thousand words. Definitely not like meeting Beyonce but still pretty cool.

Q: Why did you become a teacher?

I actually had plans to attend medical school until senior year of college.  At Wofford for the month of January, there is a session called interim in which you can take a fun class, do an internship, or go on a school trip.  For my senior interim, I chose to do a school internship teaching German because I thought it would make my resume stand out to medical schools. However, after the very first day of my internship, I found out I loved the classroom and loved teaching! I had to call my parents up later that week and tell them the news that I was switching from medical school plans to teaching.  Luckily, they were very supportive, and now here I am teaching at the best school with the best students and colleagues!

Q: What was working at AC Flora Like?

AC Flora is a great school and was a great experience.  I taught many different levels of science and I think it really helped me grow as a teacher.  I taught AP Biology and IB Biology my last two years and it definitely prepared me for teaching here. I had to revamp all my materials once I came here, but it gave me a good foundation.

Q: What would you have told your younger self and your current students?  

Focus on the learning and not the grade.  I have to admit in high school and college I got very focused on the grade.  I would get so down on myself for not getting a hundred on everything. Looking back now, I wish I had just listened to other people when they stressed that I should focus on the learning and the grade will come.  Through graduate school and now as an adult, I have changed my mindset and focused on the content being presented to me and I have figured out that learning really is fun, and it is more fun when I am not putting an emphasis on the grade.

Q: Where have you lived besides Charleston?

I grew up in Aiken, SC which was a very small town. I moved to Spartanburg for college and then I moved to Columbia for graduate school and stayed there for a while for my first few years of teaching.  I moved to Charleston the summer before last.

Q: Who is your favorite student of all time?

All of my students are my favorite students 🙂

Q: Who is your favorite person to teach with?

I have worked with Mr. McCormick and Mrs. Roop mostly for Biology 1 and they have been excellent colleagues.  I have taught Biology 1 for several years but last year was my first time doing it the “Magnet way”. It definitely is a different level of rigor and both of them were very patient with me with all my questions.

Q: How do you feel about the nickname “Snelly”.

At first I was not so sure about it but I have definitely come to think of it as a term of respect and endearment from the students.  It definitely makes me laugh when I hear it being shouted down the hallway.