Excellent Educators: Perquimans County math teacher adds creativity and determination to find success during pandemic

North Carolina

PERQUIMANS COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – Throughout the pandemic, educators have gone above and beyond to make sure students’ needs are met despite an unusual learning environment.

10 On Your Side is recognizing local teachers all month long for their commitment to students.

For six years, Mr. Tyler Bridgers has taught math at Perquimans County Middle School. We’re told he’s a household name who’s making a big impact in a small community.

Colleagues said Bridgers is usually the first one in the school each day and often the last one to leave.

“He’s patient, he’s genuine, he’s kind and he doesn’t quit,” said Laura Moreland, principal at Perquimans County Middle School.

However, if you ask Bridgers, he’s just doing what he loves.

“I want these kids to succeed,” he said.

Bridgers knows for some, math comes easy but for others it may not be that simple.

When the pandemic forced schools into remote learning, it presented a new challenge.

Bridgers admits it was nerve-wracking at first but eventually, he teamed up with another teacher and they made a digital notebook for the virtual classroom.

“Students are able to take notes, they can practice, videos. I make videos for every lesson,” he said. “It definitely takes more time.”

However, the dedication paid off. Not only was it successful for students, it caught the attention of others educators.

“We’ve actually done a presentation on it for multiple school districts,” Bridgers said.

Moreland said Tyler adapted quickly during the pandemic. We’re told he was often at school during his off time, prepping lessons to make sure his students didn’t fall behind.

“He’d find ways to refine it. He was a leader in our building. A lot of other teachers looked to him for guidance,” Moreland said.

It was a period of ups and downs, but Bridgers said it was all worth it when students came back to the classroom.

“I was excited,” he said.

Bridgers said it’s the students that kept him going during it all. He tells 10 On Your Side he’d do it again without hesitation.

“It’s very fulfilling. It just gives you so much and that’s why I wake up early in the morning and that’s why I’m here late every day,” Bridgers said. 

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