Mrs. Mays'

1st Grade Class

Check out the link above for more pictures of my home family.

Hello, my name is Lauren Ashley Mays, and I am so excited to be teaching first grade again this year at Lake Park Elementary! This will be my 4th year teaching 1st grade. I taught first grade at SL Mason in the Valdosta for the first two years, but I am stoked to be able to teach in my hometown! Lake Park Elementary Rocks!!! Go Vikings!

I was born to teach and love to learn! The best part about teaching is that I get to do both, because every year, without fail, I learn just as much from my kids as they learn from me.

I am a born-again Christian believer in the one true God. Currently, I am an active member of the First Baptist Church Lake Park family. I am a member of the praise and worship team, I sing in the choir, help lead VBS, am grateful for the love and support of my super awesome Sunday School peeps, and just feel like God has me exactly where he wants me right now (and hopefully for many years to come). Through all the ups and downs in my life, God has remained a faithful and ever present guide (even when I was stubbornly refusing to listen). I was born on May 31st, 1985 in Winter Haven, FL. From there my family moved to East Tennessee where I attended school through 7th grade. GO VOLS!!! (My family and I bleed orange and white!!!) At that time my father was offered a job at Vulcan Steel in Adel, and he relocated our family to South Georgia. I am blessed to have two of the most wonderfully supportive parents in the world, without whom I would not be the woman I am today. I have been married to my soulmate for the last 12 years, and we have 3 awesome children: Maggie Anne who is (ready or not) in middle school this year (tear), my big dude- Jaiden Lane who is in Second Grade, and my Sour Patch Baby- Jamison Luke who is attending 3K at Francis Lake.

I truly believe that children receive the best education when parents and teachers work together as a team and stay in constant communication. I meet with every parent/guardian at least 2 times every year, and also frequently communicate through Remind101. I also firmly believe teachers should act as facilitators (not dictators) who enthusiastically stimulate the students’ desire to learn. I encourage hands on learning through real-life experiences, STEM projects, and much, much more! #FirstGradeRocks!!!

Two educational experiences which helped shape who I am as a teacher were my years with my fourth and fifth grade teacher, Mr. Shockley, and an experience I had in art my senior year in high school. First, Mr. Shockley was an extremely caring and fair teacher; he cared about and valued each of his students individually. He took the time to guide us through the year, never making any of his students feel stupid or worthless. I left his class feeling loved, and valued. Second, my senior year in high school, the art teacher gave me an entire semester of free reign to create whatever I wanted to. This was 2002, and our country had just experienced one of the most traumatic experiences in many decades. I attended and graduated from Tallulah Falls School, which is a boarding school in North Georgia. We had students from all over the world, but in particular, I remember the panicked expressions on the faces of the girls in the dorm from NY who couldn't get in touch with their parents or family in the city because all of the phones lines were so jammed. After all of the smoke cleared, I decided what I wanted to do. So, I spent an entire semester creating an abstract sculpture of what I believed told the story of 9/11. Not only did I come to terms with what had happened, but I had the freedom and empowerment to be successful on my own.

Since my Nana's passing in last March, I have heard so many stories from her former students about what she meant to them. Though the curriculum is different, the values and sense of self-worth I hope to instill in my babies are still very much the same. Most of all though, I want to instill in my students the same passion and desire for learning that I possess.