By Paige Nash
Terry Calep is officially retiring after serving 33 years as an educator, all of which have been taught in Bienville Parish.
Although it was not Calep’s lifelong dream to become a teacher, he would not change his career choice for ‘anything in the world.’
He said, “Turns out, I really didn’t have an interest in teaching education until 1987-88, although I began college in 1986 as a Mathematics major. It was my aunt, who at the time was an Elementary teacher nearing her retirement who wanted me to replace her as a 4th grade teacher.”
Calep graduated from Bienville High School in 1986, then from Grambling State University in 1990 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.
For 19 years he taught all subjects for grades 3-6 at his alma mater, Bienville High School. Following almost 2 decades there, he was asked to transfer to Gibsland-Coleman High School where he finished out his teaching career. At both schools he made an impact on every student that walked into his classroom.
“Each day I worked and planned tirelessly to make my classroom conductive to learning to meet the needs of all my students. Whether it was small grouping, individualized instruction, tutoring during my planning, or helping after school, even giving instruction over the phone after getting home,” said Calep.
It is not hard to believe that classrooms, techniques and the way kids receive an education has changed over the 33 years Calep has been in the education industry.
He said, “I must admit, things have changed greatly since I first started on my journey. From teaching from textbooks to teaching from Chromebook’s. From inserting grades in a grade book to placing grades online. From grades mostly determining success or failure in a classroom to standardized tests being the determining factor.”
Over his teaching career Calep has been selected as ‘Teacher of the Year’ at both Bienville and Gibsland-Coleman High School. But the greatest award he has received over 33 years is not something physical.
“My greatest reward was whenever my former students would come back and tell me they appreciate all I did to help them over the years, whether in the classroom or on the basketball court,” said Calep. “It’s all been a joy. I hope I have made an impact on all of my students’ lives to where they may not want to be like me, but better than me.”
Calep is not sure what the next chapter may hold for him, but as for now you can find him resting up on his porch with his tea in the mornings watching the buses go by and enjoying spending time with his grandchildren.
He said, “Who knows I may become more of a fisherman.”
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE