So, Floyd returned to college, attending N.C. Central University for her teaching license.
Floyd recalled how nervous she was her first time substituting.
“I was thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong, and then I had to remember that I’m also a part of this classroom," Floyd said. "So, the respect and the love and care that the students had for their teacher, they also had for me as well.”
Floyd’s mother, Lavern MuDiwa, saw her daughter's potential to become a wonderful teacher long before Floyd realized it herself.
“High school, I think it was her ninth grade year, she started teaching the little children in our church Sunday school,” MuDiwa said. “And these kids adored her; she was just so good with them. The pastors were saying, ‘Eugenia’s a good teacher.’ I said, ‘She absolutely is.’"
The subject Floyd is most passionate about teaching is reading, she said, largely because of the discussions it allows her to have with her students.
“It is so wonderful to see how kids bounce their ideas off one another, and how they build on each other’s ideas,” Floyd said. “It’s a way that we all gain knowledge, through conversation, and I think that’s one of my favorite parts of my literacy work with my students — the time that we spend just talking about a topic or subject that we’ve read, whether it be analyzing characters or breaking down vocabulary, I just find those times very exciting.”
Floyd, who won a $1,000 prize along with her award, was honored with other award winners at a virtual recognition reception hosted by Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.
In an announcement released by the district about the event, former Superintendent Pam Baldwin commended the efforts of instructors through the end of an "unusual" school year.
"Congratulations to all of our honorees who were announced as award winners," Baldwin said. "Every one of you shine, whether we’re together in person or online."
Kristen Perone, also an instructor at Scroggs, has known Floyd since 2013 and shared an office with her since 2016. She said Floyd is extremely deserving of the Teacher of the Year award.
“There are so many reasons why Ms. Floyd is deserving of this honor, this year, and every year,” Perone said. “She is able to provide quality instruction in an engaging, inclusive and rigorous classroom. She is generous as a mentor and colleague, a hardworking team player to our PLC, and she is able to connect with all students through her humor and compassion."
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing schools to transition to online learning, connecting with students became more of a challenge — the administration and teachers at Scroggs have tackled the challenge together, Floyd said.
“It was definitely one of those moments where it seemed like we had to work at a much higher capacity, and everyone had a role to play in making sure that we were reaching and giving our students the tools that they needed to be successful during this time," Floyd said. "We had our administrators, our teacher assistants, everybody was fully involved in making sure that our students had access.”
As an educator, Floyd said she feels it’s her duty to ensure that every student is reached, so engagement is something she emphasizes in the classroom. Along with making sure her students are academically prepared, Floyd said she makes sure she connects with her students in order to ensure they are being given exactly what they require to succeed.
Perone said this extra care shines through.
"What sets Ms. Floyd apart is the way in which she holds students accountable, never accepting less than their best," Perone said.
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