Faith - Seeing God As Your Father

Chelsea Sell – 2019 Paulding County’s Teacher of the Year

Chelsea Sell is a science teacher at Austin Middle School, and has been named the Paulding County School’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Chelsea Sell EDITEDChelsea graduated from Georgia Southern University and started her career in Douglas County. She spent four years at Turner Middle School before transferring to Austin Middle School in Paulding County.

This school year, Chelsea will start her 9th year teaching. She shares, “Growing up, everyone always told me I was going to be a teacher. I love to help people, I love to include people, and I love learning. My parents wanted me put in classes with tough teachers because I would try to take over the class. Pretty much every teacher I had growing up told me I would become a teacher, and they were all correct.”

Science is Chelsea’s passion, and her favorite lessons are the ones that are hands on. In lessons called Project Based Learning (PBLs) or STEM activities, students are presented with a problem and they have to figure out or create a solution. These activities teach students that it is ok to “fail”, how to learn from it, and continue the process.

Chelsea “loves” teaching at the middle school level; and she has taught both 6th and 8th grades. She says. “[More than any age group] Middle school teachers can influence not only their students’ interests, but instill a sense self-confidence/empowerment and love of learning that will last through their academic careers and beyond. It’s such a critical time in students’ development, and the lessons they learn both in and out of the classroom stick with them for life. I love that I can encourage them to explore their academic interests, and to be proud of themselves, to think critically and independently, and to persevere academically. Middle school is also when students really grow into their own personalities which is fun to watch and an honor to influence.”

Seeing the success of a former student, is one of Chelsea’s fondest memories as a teacher. The student struggled during middle school, but was now in high school making great grades, thriving in JROTC and had a plan for her life. She gave Ms. Sell a lot of credit for influencing her in a positive way.

It is clear that Chelsea has a big love for teaching and her kids. What she likes most is this, “[It] all boil down to two main things. First is the kids. I am basically a big nerd so I easily connect with my students when I get excited about earth science and STEM projects. I enjoy getting to know them and seeing them grow throughout the year and throughout middle school. Secondly, I thrive on the unknowns in teaching because that makes it exciting. Every day of teaching is different from the one before; you can never fully plan or prepare for what the day brings. I love this excitement and it keeps me on my toes.” 

This year, Chelsea is looking forward to meeting her new students and their families. She is a self-proclaimed “extreme extrovert” so she loves meeting new people. She takes first impressions very seriously, because it’s the first time her students and parents are able to get a “read” on her as a person and a teacher. Chelsea says, “I want them to see me, an energetic teacher who is going to support and push their student to be their best throughout the year.”