CALVERTON – Before finding her home at Calverton Elementary, Vicker McClain was something of a career changer.
She worked in higher education, real estate, accounting and healthcare as a pharmacy technician.
“But ever since I was a child I always kind of knew I had this passion for teaching and being an educator, but it’s so funny because I always ended up in all these other careers,” she said.
That all changed when she found a job at Trinity University and decided to join its residency program to study early childhood education.
Now, McClain is celebrating seven years at Calverton Elementary, a education degree and three full-time positions at Calverton: data coach, school testing coordinator and Talented and Gifted coordinator.
“I wear many hats,” she said. “We have 876 students here and I’m responsible for managing testing for all of them. We have many assessments – some just for primary, some for intermediate and a lot of our tests are online. It takes a lot of planning.”
McClain said she spends a lot of her time preparing both teachers and students for assessments, as well as helping teachers and school leadership understand the data they are working with.
However, she said her favorite job is working as the Talented and Gifted coordinator, where she helps teachers create events and activities for the accelerated students. Her most recent venture included inviting a children’s author into the school to work with students on their creative writing and story development.
“Those are the kinds of things I really like to do as a TAG coordinator because I really get to go into the classroom and I get to model lessons,” McClain said.
And while her students may get a summer break, McClain’s schedule doesn’t slow down. In the summer she leads trainings as a Junior Great Books trainer and is an admin intern at Bowie State University so she can become a school administrator.
“It’s a lot, but I really love what I do,” she said. “This isn’t just work for me. I’ve been here for seven years, so I know a lot of the families, and they’re like my children too.”
Within the walls of Calverton, McClain said she is not just her job titles; she takes a personal investment into the students she interacts with. And while she admitted her job is not easy, it is something she loves and something she knew she was meant to do.
“I don’t know why I did all these other careers before. It’s like I came back to my first love, which I knew I wanted to be teacher and, you know, its not an easy job,” she said. “But to hear the students say ‘this was fun’ or ‘Ms. McClain I loved this activity’ or just to see the growth – its worth it.”