T. Clay Wood Elementary School teacher says the power of “yet” and a growth mindset lay a foundation of success for her students
Posted on 06/01/2020
teacher Nancy Weaver

She has taught generations of PWCS students, yet T. Clay Wood Elementary School second-grade teacher, Nancy Weaver, says she never stopped being excited to go to school. Weaver will retire at the end of this school year with 48 years of teaching in PWCS schools, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of many current and former students and colleagues.

“I was always excited to go to school each day when I was young and that has continued for me during my 49 years in education,” said Weaver. “I have really enjoyed working in Prince William County Schools and it has been a fantastic experience. It has been great to get to know so many wonderful students and families, excellent administrators, dedicated and talented staff and colleagues; I will miss everyone!”

Weaver is known by her colleagues for having the patience of an angel. They say she is always warm and welcoming when help is needed or her knowledge and wisdom sought. The strong relationships she builds is evident from the enthusiastic greetings she received every morning from students of all ages. Even so, Weaver was surprised and honored to hear that the School Board had approved naming the school library at T. Clay Wood Elementary in her honor at its meeting on May 20, 2020.

“When I decided to retire in January, I had no idea that the school year would end in this manner,” said Weaver. “I was so upset when I heard we were not going back to school...I really miss seeing the students and working with them each day. I never imagined 49 years ago that I would be talking with students in virtual meetings because at that time there were no computers or cell phones.”

Weaver said that developing positive relationships with students is key to their success. Using growth mindset strategies, vocabulary, and the power of "yet" to let students know they can learn from their mistakes and not be afraid to fail helps students lay the foundation for success. Making sure students have choices gives them ownership and motivates independent learning. Weaver believes when they are still happy and energized at the end of the day, and not ready to leave because they want to keep on learning, her day has been a success.

One of her colleagues at T. Clay Wood shared, “Mrs. Weaver’s keen and knowing eye, patience, and experience transformed my chatty, silly student who always has his nose in a book into a conscientious, focused, and responsible student, who finished all assignments to his best ability and then put his nose in a book. She recognized his abilities and he rose to her expectations, loving and respecting her so much that he’d never allow himself to let her down. I’ve always known as Nancy’s teammate that she’s magical, but as a parent of one of her students, it’s without a doubt she’s one of the best.”

Weaver graduated from Madison College (now James Madison University) in 1971 with double majors in elementary education and library science (K-12) and taught for one year in Hampton City Public Schools. She and her new husband moved to Prince William County in 1972 and she began teaching at Marumsco Hills Elementary School, teaching first, second, and third grades, a grade one and two combination during a period of year-round school, and as a library media specialist.

She went on to serve seven years as the library media specialist at Lake Ridge Elementary School and then returned to the classroom in 2004, teaching second grade for seven years at Bristow Run Elementary School, and finally in her current home at T. Clay Wood.