‘Children are the same 41 years later’
Looking back on 41 years of teaching at The Burlington School, Cindy Jordan doesn’t regret a single day.
“If I had to start over now at 18 and somebody said, ‘OK, regroup,’ I would choose the same profession. Not many people can say that, but it is true,” she said.
Jordan is a native of Burlington and attended Grove Park Elementary School, Turrentine Middle School and Walter Williams High School.
She credits her Grove Park teachers with inspiring her to teach, which she’s wanted to do for as long as she can remember.
After graduating from UNC-Greensboro, she started at what was then the Burlington Day School, three days before she got married.
She taught kindergarten for nine years and second grade for 11 before settling on first grade, which she’s taught for the last 21 years.
“I keep telling the children I know where they’ve been and where they’re going,” she laughed.
Over the last four decades, she’s taught countless children to add, subtract, read and write, and she says you can form a special bond with students in K–3 that you can’t at higher levels.
“I like the magic in their eyes when you teach them to read, when they see the wonder of new things,” Jordan said. “I just, I like the daily hugs. I like the interaction that you have with children, and that ‘Ah-ha’ moment in their little eyes. It’s always been young children.”
The Burlington School, Jordan says, has come a long way since she started out with a chalkboard and paper grade book — and technology isn’t the only thing that’s changed.
“Children are the same 41 years later. It’s the parenting that has changed,” she said. “And of course I think technology has brought about so many changes, but parenting has definitely changed. I think now a lot of parents want to be their children’s best friend instead of realizing that they’ll become their best friend when their children are grown. Right now, they just need to be their parent.”
Looking back, Jordan says, the most rewarding part of her career has been “the friendships that I have made with the families, watching children go through the whole cycle, and now teaching the second generation of children, watching my parents become grandparents, and just seeing that the values and traditions that this school instills, that those have not changed.”
Now her time as a teacher has come full circle, and Jordan is thrilled that her replacement is one of her former students — one who, like many, still calls her “Mrs. Jordan” after all of these years.
In her newly acquired free time, Jordan plans to spend more time with her family, visit her home at Hyco Lake, and support her favorite sports teams.
She’s a diehard Duke University and Redskins fan, but locally she roots for Western Alamance High School since both of her children attended school there after their time at TBS.
However, she won’t be away from her home at The Burlington School for long.
“Next year, I hope to be here every day subbing. I’m even going to try middle school and high school,” she laughed. “After walking in this door for 41 years, I cannot imagine not walking in the door each day.”
Reporter Jessica Williams can be reached at email@example.com or at 336-506-3046. Follow her on Twitter at @jessicawtn.