Douglas Pearson is the first to tell you that he isn’t a typical teacher. With a colorful wardrobe and a fresh approach to teaching, “Mr. Pearson” is one of the youngest and most loved teachers at Creek Bridge High School in Marion, South Carolina, where he works with students of all grade levels in a variety of subject areas.
Pearson, a South Carolina native, was drawn to a career as an educator because of his desire to make a difference and his genuine love for young people. The potential opportunity to coach young athletes was also a plus for Pearson, who is thriving as the assistant varsity football coach and the head varsity boys’ basketball coach. With only two years of running his own classroom under his belt, there’s no doubt that Pearson has the talent and drive necessary to achieve his goals of either becoming an athletic director at the high school level or working in a university athletics department.
Pearson isn’t just an inspirational teacher; he’s a stylish one. His approach to fashion proves true the theory that a sense of class isn’t synonymous with a high price tag. He says his approach to fashion involves staying within a set budget and looking for items that will help him to “dress it up” on a daily basis. A typical outfit for him is a pair of tailored slacks, a nice shirt, and a colorful bow tie. “I’m not afraid to push the envelope a little!” he laughs, explaining that incorporating bold colors into his wardrobe brings energy and life into his classroom. Because of his fun style and magnetic personality, his colleagues flock to him for both light conversation and heartfelt advice.
It’s no wonder that Pearson puts together his ensembles each morning before school rather than plan them out ahead of time. His schedule, like that of many teachers, is more packed than most would imagine. In addition to coaching, Pearson teaches courses in financial literacy and integrated business; he also runs a mentoring group for middle school males called “Project D.R.E.A.M. (Determined to Reinforce Education Thru Arts & Mentorship).” As much as he loves his career, Pearson admits that the most difficult aspect of teaching is staying organized and prepared for the wide array of courses he is teaching, adding that he believes teachers are “stretched too thin.”
While Pearson may feel overwhelmed with the workload at times, he feels that his career has given him a platform to do something meaningful with his life that will make a lasting impression on the world in which he lives. To Pearson, all of the hard work and late nights of grading and planning are worth it when one of his students has a moment that demonstrates true understanding and enlightenment.
His best advice to young people who think that teaching may be the right path for them? “Be all in! [You] can’t just go through the motions and expect the kids to let you lead them.” As we all know too well, it is often difficult to lose sight of the end result when burning the midnight oil for any cause, passion, or profession. Pearson’s enthusiasm and dedication can inspire us all to assess the impact we are making with our careers and daily lives.
Have you dedicated yourself to being “all in” with something in your life? Tell us about it!