Hale Swords has been nominated as an Outstanding Trucker Buddy by Tammy Egnew, a fifth-grade teacher at Salem Elementary in Russell Springs, Kentucky, and her class. Mr. Swords, who has driven for Epes Transport, out of Greensboro, North Carolina, is very active with the fifth-grade class.
“Who would have imagined my students would rush to my class- room each day in anticipation of reading an email from someone they didn’t know at the beginning of the school year? said Ms. Egnew. “But that’s exactly what they do! My students are excited to see the pictures and learn about each one that Mr. Swords sends each day. In my opinion, Mr. Swords deserves to be awarded an Outstanding Trucker Buddy.
“Mr. Swords came to our classroom at the beginning of the year,” explained Ms. Egnew. “The students were excited to meet him, however they didn’t know what to expect. He spoke with both classes of fifth students for over an hour each. He presented his job in a professional manner, describing many things about truck drivers that we were unaware of. He told them how many miles he has driven, the places he has visited and the details of his job. The students loved that he brought them treats also!”
Ms. Egnew goes on to explain that Mr. Swords took the students outside to see his truck. “They were amazed at how large it was. The students loved the shiny spokes on the wheels the best! Each student was allowed to climb up into his truck to take a look. They loved the “talking” computer, and, of course, the thrill of honking the horn!”
Daily pictures are the highlight of the experience with Mr. Swords, according to Ms. Egnew. “Not only does he send pictures, he explains each one along with facts or history about the place or thing. I teach writing and history so this fits in well with my curriculum.
“One student volunteers each day to respond to Mr. Sword’s email. We then project it on a big whiteboard for everyone to see. After the student has written the return email, we all check it for grammar, structure and punctuation. This is “real world” learning! Writing emails is one of the areas we are required to cover in our writing standards.”
Best of all, Mr. Swords is so kind to my students. They need good role models… and he is that! He has also given some students the desire to be future truck drivers. As they say, “I want to be just like Mr. Swords. He’s the best!” I would have to agree!