Sumter County teacher's methods inspire attention-strapped teens - - Columbia, South Carolina

Sumter County teacher's methods inspire attention-strapped teens


In any other classroom, the decor might be a distraction for students used to having things coming at them at 90 miles per hour. But not in Trevor Ivey's class.

In there, the science nerd preaches science to scholars -- not students. In there, everyone is college bound.

"You have to pay attention to him," said student Trevor Houston. "He's right there in your face, you have no choice but to pay attention."

The classroom and methods are just part of Ivey's teaching style. He's working to capture a generation of low-attention middle-schoolers.

"I'm able to teach from the identity of my heart and the integrity of myself, and that's where the energy comes from," said Ivey.

Principal Jeannie Pressley calls him the Michael Jordan of teaching, but to Ivey, it's not about scoring points -- at least not for himself.

"My parents always taught me, you've got to give back to your community first," said Ivey.

Six years ago, the Sumter native brought his Master's from Harvard back home to give kids the same spark he got in a Teacher Cadet course years ago. Along with science, he teaches a junior teaching program called Pro Team, hoping his love of education is contagious.

"I'm back in my hometown community doing it one group of scholars at a time," said Ivey. "And that's why I'm here."

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