At 95, Inspirational Teacher Retires On Her Birthday After 75 Years Of Service

May 31, 2023 by apost team

Teaching is one of the world’s most noble professions. A teacher is one of the most important foundational building blocks in a child’s life. Besides parents, teachers do so much in a child’s life to ensure they become good and well-behaved adults. However, in a world bedeviled with so much uncertainty and trouble, the teaching profession is at threat of losing its value. Despite the odds facing the teaching profession, there are still many teachers who have given their lives to ensure great kids are raised. 

One such teacher is Grace Adkins, who retired on May 18, 2023, after teaching for 75 years. Amazingly, the day of Adkins’ retirement was her 95th birthday, and many of her former and current students were present at Westwood Schools, Camilla, Georgia, to celebrate with her on the special occasion. For Adkins, it’s been a fulfilling life, and she deserved to bow out in style. 

The nonagenarian was born on May 18, 1928, in Doerun, Georgia. She got the inspiration she needed to be a teacher from her mother, who was also a teacher. Adkins’ teaching profession started quite early as she began imparting knowledge to others when she was still in 11th grade. She graduated valedictorian and moved to college. However, the passionate teacher returned home because she heard there was a shortage of teachers. 

Adkins holds a Master’s in Education, which she received from Georgia Southwestern State University. She has taught at Deerfield Academy in Albany, Georgia, and was first hired to teach at Westwood Schools in 1976. Since beginning her teaching career, Adkins has held on to the motto that teachers must meet children where they are and discover the best method to teach them. Read on to know more about Adkins’ inspirational teaching career. 

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After 75 years of teaching, Adkins felt it was time to say goodbye to the profession she loves dearly. To mark the day, which also coincided with her 95th birthday, the graceful teacher’s past and present students converged at Westwood Schools, Camilla, Georgia, on May 18, 2023, to wish her a happy birthday and bid her farewell. It was an honor Adkins truly deserved. In a chat with WALB, Adkins reflected on her teaching career and confessed: 

“Well, it’s been a great life. Indeed and with people that are learning.”

Adkins also mentioned something that every teacher should abide by. She said: 

“My motto is every child is a winner. And they don’t mind getting help.” 

The inspirational teacher said she never believes a child can’t learn. Instead, she finds out the learning method that suits them and doesn’t give up until she has done so. That approach has helped many of her students over the years.

Evidence of how impactful Adkins’ methods have been were revealed during a 2017 interview she had with her former student, Vicki Davis, who she taught in 4th grade. During the interview, which was for Davis’s The CoolCat Teacher podcast, Adkins told the story of her former student, who had ADHD and wrote everything backward. Despite the odds, Adkins, the student, and his parents never gave up, and he went on to become a vascular surgeon.

Besides teaching, Adkins established a learning lab in 1982. Hence, students will continually be influenced by her even though she is retiring. The 95-year-old said

“It’s just rewarding, to be able to help children grow in that field and become confident in what they can do.” 

Hopefully, there will be more teachers like Adkins, who inspire students to be what they want to be despite the odds.

Were you inspired by Grace Adkins’ story? Do you have a teacher who impacted you positively and helped to shape your life? Do you believe there are many more teachers like Adkins in the world today? Let us know — and be sure to pass this article on to friends, family members and fellow teachers.  

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