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Bagwell: Every child can learn.Debbie Bagwell Lyman Hall Elementary
Lyman Hall Elementary School teacher Debbie Bagwell goes over information about a class project with Pascual Sebastian while classmate Joani Ramirez looks on. - photo by Tom Reed | The Times

Debbie Bagwell | Lyman Hall Elementary

Influence can happen at an early age. Debbie Bagwell, a Hall County teacher since 1987, understands that.

“I do like to see kids learn,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to create independent thinkers.”

Her extensive resume includes piloting a multi-age class at Myers Elementary as well as a reading and writing workshop as a literacy model at South Hall Middle School.

At Lyman Hall, she teaches fifth grade and is a literacy coach.

“There are answers out there for (students),” she said.

Why did you choose teaching?
“I always had felt for kids who struggled to read. So my passion has been for the kids who have a harder time at getting things. So that’s kept me in education, trying to find answers and solutions to what can help them. ... I want them to be a part of learning it — finding their own answers in discovery mode.”

“I guess when I see the success stories it just keeps me at it because I know that it just means that every child can learn. You just have to find the right construction for them. So that motivates me to keep finding the right thing that’s for them.”

Most memorable teaching moment
Bagwell has been teaching a 50-year-old man to read and said that has had applications in the classroom. “I’ve learned the most from that. He could tell me what was going on and how he was processing reading, and from that I could go and understand what was going on with kids. So that’s been very monumental.”

Advice for other teachers
“Mainly don’t get stuck in a rut, and don’t think there are not solutions. If you look hard enough you’re going to find something that fits a child and will kick them into learning. Just always be looking for solutions that will help them.”