The Science of Inspiration

By Kyrstin Lulow

This is a story about the inspiration of determination. This is a story about the magic of teaching. This is a story about the joy of learning. This is a story about the beauty of education.

In the past year, North Carolina public education has garnered a lot of attention in response to legislative decisions that, quite frankly, are casting a bleak future for schools that are already struggling. E.K. Powe Elementary, however, is a beacon of hope amongst the tumult; it is a wonderful school that is making leaps and bounds, despite a sparse statewide resources and a low-income demographic.

E.K. Powe is also home to Mrs. Hannah Bohlen, who is one of the most inspirational people I've ever met. She taught fourth grade math and science, and loved her class so much that she moved with them to fifth grade this year. When you walk into her class room, the first thing you notice is how adorable the room is with hand-made decorations, terrariums, class projects, and even a class bunny.

The second thing you notice is the air, buzzing with energy and joy. Mrs. Bohlen has created a classroom environment that makes the students feel safe to be themselves. There is no judgment among the students for showing a willingness to learn. The students are always excited to learn more, to ask questions, and to help eachother out. What's more, Mrs. Bohlen's students are a diverse amalgamation; some of her students are from low-income families, some speak English as their second language, some are from AIG (above grade level), and some require more assistance. Yet amazingly, there is no judgment among any of the students. They are all equals because their teacher loves them all equally.