Hello. My name is Melinda Tatum, but most people know me by Mandy. I always had a dream of providing children with an environment which was safe, encouraging, engaging and fun to explore in! After graduating with a bachelor degree in Elementary Education, a masters degree in Learning Disabilities and Interrelated Needs, and a Specialist degree in Educational Leadership, I have been living my dream for 24 wonderful years! Over the past years, I have had fun providing guidance and opportunities for students to explore and learn in many different areas. I have taught Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, first grade, third grade, and fourth grade as a regular education teacher. I have taught Kindergarten through 4th grade Environmental Science where not only did I have an indoor classroom, but also an outside garden and green house for students to explore and learn hands on. I have had the pleasure of providing groups of gifted students learning environments for expand their boundaries. I have worked with students with special needs in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Working with Science and Math are my favorite areas to provide learning opportunities to students. Who can disagree with me that exploring with all kinds of measurement tools, ten frames, geometric shapes, to all kinds of animals like scorpions, Iguanas, hissing cockroaches, cute rabbits, to plants, dirt and water, and science experiments of all kinds to not be fun!! My favorite opportunity was heading the first ever Science Fair for Sumter County Elementary School. I was amazed with all of the different science projects that students from Kindergarten through fourth grade could image and create! I encourage and challenge my students to have the courage to step outside their comfort zone to explore new things and challenge themselves even if it might be a little scary. One of my favorite quotes is from John Wayne. "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." Just think of all of the places and things we would not have if someone didn't step outside of their comfort zone and saddle up to explore new worlds!