Powdersville Middle School recently named Andrea Dyar as their 2023 Teacher of the Year. Dyar is a special education teacher and a 2019 graduate of the Anderson University College of Education.
Dyar was excited to learn that she and her co-teacher in special education both were nominated for the honor. Of her selection, Dyar said, “this is only my fourth year of teaching and being able to be seen by my school family was just phenomenal, because that means my kids are being seen. That inclusive environment is so important for them.”
As a student at Belton-Honea Path High School, Dyar loved mathematics and originally thought she would like to go into electrical engineering. Then during her senior year, an opportunity to peer tutor a special education class at an area middle school opened her eyes and her heart for children with special needs. She changed course, decided to enter special education instead, and enrolled at Anderson University.
“It’s a total 180 but I’m still doing math. I get to teach math and life skills to my students; I still have my love of math, but I chose being able to teach it instead of applying it in engineering,” she said.
At Anderson University, Dyar loved the community feel, as well as the knowledgeable, caring faculty in the College of Education. In the midst of teacher shortages, especially in special education, she feels that the support she’s gotten from her Anderson University professors, in addition to her colleagues at Powdersville Middle, have made a huge difference.
Despite the challenges that come with the job, Dyar says the positives far outweigh the negatives.
“What really made me love special education is the kids. I just want to be able to advocate for them and for everybody to see how amazing they are,” she said. “I can’t come into my classroom without kids telling me that they love me and giving me a million hugs every day.”
The Anderson University College of Education
The Anderson University College of Education focuses on the intellectual development of the student, while being attentive to the ideals of character, servant leadership and cultural engagement. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, onsite or online. Details can be found here.