Welcome to Beaumont Parent Student Teacher Association Web Page
Hello, My name is Jan Durham. I am the president of BMS PTSA. I have a 7th grade son this year at BMS. I was an elementary teacher for Fayette Co, but have been able to be a stay-home-Mom these last few years. Our family came to BMS last year as a first experience with Public School for my son, Kevin. I wanted to be involved with kids again and to help out as much as I can with the teachers and staff. Having first-hand experience knowing the stress and fatigue of the job, I saw how important that PTA had been during my time as a teacher, so I became involved in PTSA at Beaumont.
Our first year here was tremendous. The faculty and staff were so welcoming and they were certain that Kevin would love Beaumont. They could not have been more right. He loves being in school and has really bloomed in this system, which says a lot considering it's the Middle School Years. Last year while Kevin was working as a sixth grader, I started helping out with a group of students that I have grown to love. I didn't realize how much I had missed working with students. The students are the BEST part of being a teacher. As the year progressed I started coming in two days a week just to work in the classroom. I've read recently that when you volunteer with kids, you become a superstar to them. I guess that is how they made me feel when I saw them. It became, "Ms. Durham this and Ms. Durham that". "Can you come and help me?" "Did you bring that candy today?" "Can we take a walk?" They always seemed happy to see me and I looked forward to seeing them. They make me smile and laugh. As a volunteer, I did have a distinct advantage over those who were employed there. If the kids were in a huffy mood and didn't want to do their work with me, I would just say fine, I can always go back home and find something else to do. That usually brought them around to get busy.
Fall became Winter and as an avid knitter, I tend to knit everywhere. I knitted on field trips, while waiting on Kevin and even in the classroom when things were slow. The more the students watched the more request I got. One young man just came right out and said it, "Can you make me something"? I said sure, how about a hat with your name on it. I asked, "What color would you like it in?". He replied, "UK blue and white". This followed another request; hey, they were "really" excited about "me" making them their own personalized hat. This is Middle School?? The student that touched my heart the most was the young man whose life was meant to cross mine. He could be hard to reach at times and distant. I could see in him something that I was sure he could not see in himself. That's what teachers do all the time, right? He had a smile that just wasn't shown enough but when I ask him if he wanted a hat, I saw it, that smile. Then when I gave him the hat, the smile turned into one of the best hugs of appreciation that I have ever received. That hat warmed more than any head, it warmed our hearts too.
All of us have "stuff" that we go through in our lives no matter how many years we have under our belts. Our kids need our help. They need volunteer groups like PTSA. I don't get paid in dollars for what I do, but I feel really enriched by what I have been given and what I'm able to give. I feel very fortunate to have found a place to be a "superstar" and a place to make a difference. I hope you will give whatever you can in time, money or talent. Remember, you could be a "superstar" too. Oh, and by the way, I ended up making the young man a hat for his nephew as a gift for all his hard work in school. It was made exactly like his-only smaller.
Thank you for your time, Jan