Eclectic Middle School English teacher La’Brandon Tyre knew Eclectic was where he wanted to fulfill his passion after spending some time in the area.
He spent a semester at Elmore County High School while he was a student at Auburn University Montgomery.
Tyre was sold on teaching in the area after that semester of getting to know the students, leaders and overall family-feel of Eclectic. “I really think I’ve stumbled upon the land of milk and honey,” he said.
Tyre is in his fifth year of teaching English at EMS and feels the job is satisfying.
“I teach because there is still hope,” he said. “We live in a world that can be so jaded or divided or critical. Teachers have the interesting responsibility of teaching and modeling empathy and tolerance to a certain degree. Those moments where I see kids do or say something, far beyond English and reading lesson, that shows me something that makes them a better person is satisfying.”
Tyre said his interest in teaching was with him from an early age, but he had no idea males could be teachers.
“Growing up and going to school in Bullock County, in my formative years, I did not realize men could be teachers because I didn’t have that experience until I moved to Memphis, (Tennessee) when I was 10 because most my teachers and principals were female,” he said. “I wanted to be a teacher, but I did not have that example in front of me. Once I realized that was possible, no doubt.”
He said the calling to teach was influenced by a higher power.
“I felt like it was a calling from God,” he said. “This is not anything I begged to do. If you think about it, we don’t make a ton of money. We don’t work in an industry where there is instant gratification most the time. But, I know without a shadow of a doubt I wanted to be a teacher.”
Tyre said it takes a specific approach to communicate with kids who are in middle school.
“It does take a certain level of commitment to teach at the middle school level,” he said. “(You have to) not only be good at teaching, but you have to be good with empathy and sympathy and accountability. This is the time — at this age — to really hold the students to a level of accountability and not only be willing to teach content, but to work on creating strong human beings.”
As for Tyre’s professional future, he sees himself serving in an instructional coaching role.
“Most people want to be a principal, but I do not want to be that far removed. If there is progression for me, I want to be something like an instructional coach and make sure teachers are doing best practices. I want to teach teachers how to be more empathetic and be better teachers.”
Tyre said it is important to allow students to learn in their own way rather than following the traditional model of a teacher delivering a lecture and hoping students absorbed the lesson.
“Student centered instruction is a challenge for me,” he said. “I have the personality that wants to be in control. It’s difficult for me to allow students to really direct the type of learning that we do (grammar rules). We have to allow students to be curious and learn in their own way.”
EMS principal Dr. Blair Andress was recently appointed as interim principal to Elmore County Alternative Program.
Tyre said he is excited to see what the future holds for the EMS community.
“Whoever comes next will have the best interest for the students here and we can continue to foster the family aspect Dr. Andress has built,” Tyre said. “I’m still very delighted to be here in Elmore County and ready to take on whatever changes comes. I’m sure whoever is here, they will put the best interests of the school and the students at the forefront.”