A lasting impression: Meet inspiring teacher, Megan Seamands


Megan grew up in Claxton and began her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher at Swainsboro Primary School in Swainsboro in 2017 and is still in the same school and in the same position. She is finishing her seventh-year teaching and within those seven years, she has obtained her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and just recently received an endorsement in Dyslexia. Seamands attended Georgia Southern University and received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, and also has an ESOL endorsement that she graduated with.

“My mother, Lisa Upchurch Seamands, grew up in Swainsboro. My father, Billy Upchurch, was a football coach here for several years, so I knew the area and town because of them. Even though I did not grow up here, many people remember my mother and grandfather, so it is almost like a home away from home. I remember hearing stories about Swainsboro and people they knew that lived here.” stated Miss Seamands.

Megan lived in Statesboro until she went to sixth grade. She attended Sallie Zetterower Elementary School, and had the same teacher, Ms. Deloach, for second and fourth grade and she also became Megan’s gifted teacher in fifth grade. When she was in elementary school, Megan had no idea what she wanted to do when she grew up, but she loved Ms. Deloach. “I loved going to school every day because she made it a lot of fun. She was funny and had a great personality. She let her students explore and learn things they were interested in. I think about her a lot now that I am a teacher and hope that my students can look back with fondness at me the way I do about her.” Miss Seamands commented. “We ‘research’ a lot in my class. Whenever students or myself are curious about something, we look it up on Google or YouTube to learn about it and see what it looks like. I don’t want them to ever lose their sense of wonder or curiosity.” added Miss Seamands.

“I did not always want to be a teacher. My mother was a kindergarten teacher, and I remember going to her classroom after school or sitting in there while she got things in her classroom done. Once I was able to drive, I would sometimes come and help in her classroom. All of her good friends were teachers, and from hearing their stories and helping in the classroom myself, teaching was something I DID NOT want to do. This was especially so for kindergarten. However, after going to college and getting degrees in the medical field, I found that I was not doing what I loved or enjoyed. I loved to read and loved all of my English classes in middle and high school, so I started out getting a degree in English education. I then switched to middle grades education, but quickly learned that that age was NOT for me. I then switched to early childhood education, and I ended up loving what I always said I would never do. I student-taught in kindergarten and learned that I loved that age and grade. My mother retired from teaching after 36 years in the profession, and all were taught in kindergarten. With me finishing out my seventh year in kindergarten, I am slowly following in her footsteps.” Miss Seamands commented.

Megan has always had a long commute to work. For the first several years teaching, it took her between 45-50 minutes to get to Swainsboro. Now, she has an even longer commute at 80-90 minutes depending on the day. Megan keeps coming back and making that commute because she enjoys her school and staff and has made some close friendships with her coworkers. “I feel valued and listened to at my school, and it does feel like a family. Everyone knows each other.” Miss Seamands added.

Outside of teaching, Megan likes to do all sorts of crafts. She likes to paint, make resin art, color and make things. She also loves to read (her aunt was a school librarian) and spend time at the beach. Megan is in a relationship but does not have any children.

Now that you’ve met the teacher and read her story, read her Q/A’s below to further understand Megan Seamands’ incredible values of teaching and how she’s changing and inspiring young lives in our community.

What have you found most rewarding in your career?

Seamands: Teaching children how to read. Kindergarten is where students get the foundation for reading. I have students that come to me never having been to school before and sometimes cannot tell the difference between a letter and a number. At the end of the year, those students are blending and reading some words. Some students are reading short books by the end of the year. It is amazing seeing a student go from learning their letters and sounds to reading sentences. That is one reason I got my dyslexia endorsement. I wanted to learn more about how people learn to read, better strategies for learning to read, and how to help those that struggle in a more impactful and engaging way.

Do you feel that each of your students have left a lasting impression on you?

Seamands: My students leave a lasting impression on me every year. I learn new ways to teach, manage behavior, problem solve, and manage things that I thought would be impossible. Every year is different. Something that worked in the previous year may not work at all the next. Learning how to change and do something new or different is something I carry with me every year.

What advice would you like to give to new or upcoming educators?

Seamands: Expect the unexpected and learn to roll with the punches. You may think a lesson, or even your day, will go one way and then BOOM something happens and you have to completely change what you’re doing. As long as you’re able to multitask and are open to change, you will make it. The first couple of years are the hardest, but things come easier.

How does it make you feel to see the success that many of your previous students have become

(if you’ve been teaching for 12+ years)?

Seamands: My oldest students are still in middle school. I have seen some pictures online of awards and honors they have won, and it makes me think back on when they were so little in kindergarten. It makes me proud of where many of them are.

If you could tell your past students or future students one thing that you hope will stick with them all throughout life, what would that be?

Seamands: It is okay to fail. So many of us get caught up in not doing something right the first time we try it, and that fear prevents us from ever trying anything. To get good at something, you have to try and try again. You will fail at some stuff, and that is okay. Learn from that and try better the next time.

I’ve had students afraid to try to do something because they are afraid of failure or that they won’t do it right, but I try and let them know that failure is part of the process. I let them see me fail at things, but then I try again. Showing them that it is okay to not get it right the first time, and that life doesn’t suddenly end encourages a lot of them.

What’s a favorite memory or some of your favorite memories that you have from your time as an educator?

Seamands: Since I am ESOL endorsed, I have a lot of ELL students in my classroom. Some of my favorite memories are of some of them knowing no English, to speaking to me in English by the end of the year. I have also had them teach me some of their language, and I cherish those memories.

I love art, and my classroom is filled with artwork of students I have now and in the past. I love seeing what they draw or make, and some of my more hilarious memories are of drawings they have made of myself. I keep these to look back on and smile… or laugh!