Alexis Ridgeway was born and raised in Murrells Inlet, but the December winner of Rockin’ Jump’s Teacher of the Month award has a wondering spirit – she spent 18 days traveling through Thailand in the summer of 2021.
That combination of comfort and adventure likely contributes to Ridgeway’s popularity with her fourth-grade class at Burgess Elementary. We caught up with the second-year teacher for a quick Q&A after winning the Rockin’ Jump award.
How long have you been at your current school and what grade do you teach?
I did my college internship at Burgess Elementary in the Fall of 2019 with a third-grade class. I then did a long term (sub) position at Burgess as well in 3rd grade for someone on maternity leave. I got a (fulltime) job summer of 2020 and started teaching a classroom of my own in Fall of 2020. So I have been at Burgess for almost 3 years now, teaching 3rd and currently teaching 4th grade.
What led you into teaching and what continues to motivate you?
My aunt was a teacher when I grew up, and my favorite thing was to go into her classroom and play with all her stuff. I used to play “teacher” at home as a kid. It was always something I had a passion for growing up and it stuck with me. Teaching can be hard, but the kids continue to motivate me every day. There is no better feeling than feeling like you made a difference in their lives or even days.
What was your reaction to winning the award?
I was shocked, but so excited and honored! As a newer teacher still, it was a rewarding feeling!
What was the reaction of your class?
They were just as excited as me! They love Rockin’ Jump!
Have you been to Rockin Jump before? If so, what was your experience like?
I am a huge kid at heart, so I have been a few times. I think I had more fun than any other kid there.
What do you find most rewarding about being a teacher?
The most rewarding feeling is the love and relationships you have with students. There are days when I feel like walking away, but those kids keep me grounded. There is no better feeling than the light bulb going off, or even their sense of eagerness to tell me about their weekends, things they’re excited for, etc.
Outside of the classroom, what are some of your interests?
When the weather is nice, you can always find me on the beach or on the boat. I love to shop, and love to indulge in a good book!