by Bradrick McClam -

Rashad Myers said he discovered as a senior at Lake City High School that he wanted to become a teacher. He said his Chemistry II teacher was a role model to him and that he liked the idea of having a black male teacher.

“Education is important and the key to success, no matter what field you pursue,” Myers said.

Myers, a Lake City native, is beginning his first year as a fourth- and fifth-grade English/language arts and social studies teacher at Lake City College Preparatory Academy Inc.

Good teachers have to be knowledgeable about their subject areas, be patient and understand that all children learn differently, Myers said. He also said good teachers must have a desire to see all students in their classroom achieve.

Today, he said, a strong need exists for black male teachers.

“Children need to see someone they can relate to,” Myers said.

He said having black male teachers lets children know that men care about their success and well-being.

Myers, a 2004 honor graduate of Lake City High School, was a member of the Call Me Mister program at Claflin University. Thirteen colleges in South Carolina participate in the program, which aims to produce male teachers in the classroom.

“The Call Me Mister program prepared me well,” Myers said.

He thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunities the program provided as well the conferences he attended, which aided him in teaching strategies and concepts, he said.

Myers said many males don’t become teachers because they think teaching is a career better suited for women. He said many males “shy away” from becoming teachers and instead enter vocations that society view as being “more male-fitting.”

Myers plans to motivate students in his classroom by using instruction that includes hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning, he said. He also is looking to inspire creativity in the classroom by using tangible items that students are familiar with. He said he will also allow his students to give their opinion on activities they would like to incorporate into classroom instruction.

“I want to make my classroom accommodating to all students, no matter what their learning style,” Myers said.

Myers said English has always been one of his strengths, which led him to teach the subject.

“Reading and writing always came natural to me,” he said.

Myers earned a bachelor’s in English with a minor in education from Claflin University in May 2010 and is certified in elementary education. He said Claflin University’s School of Education and Department of English and Foreign Languages was extremely beneficial in his development as a teacher.

Myers said reading and writing are subject areas that all students need to master.

“Reading helps you understand ideas and concepts others have,” Myers said. “Writing is the universal way to communicate and express your feelings.”

He finds that some students don’t like reading and writing because they don’t understand such concepts as correct grammar, word usage and punctuation, he said. Myers said his goal is to get his students to understand the fundamentals of reading and writing so that they can communicate effectively.

Myers said he came back to Lake City to teach so that he will be able to “give back” to his hometown. He thinks he will be able to reach out to many students and families in the community, he said.

When he’s not teaching, Myers enjoys watching sports, reading, writing and spending time with his family, he said