A conversation with Tammy Morley
Veteran social studies teacher Tammy Morley of Lewes retired this year from Sussex Technical High School after 31 years in the classroom. Her career included time in Wicomico County and Cape Henlopen schools, and she has spent the last 14 years teaching world history, American history, and ancient world history to Tech’s students. She recently shared her thoughts about teaching, advice to students and teachers, and more.
How did you become a teacher?
I have always wanted to be a teacher! When I was in second grade, my teacher told my mother that I needed to stop going around the room and checking the students’ work. I had a wonderful seventh-grade history teacher, Mrs. Giddens, and I wanted to be just like her.
What were the highlights of your career at Sussex Tech?
I have been blessed to be a member of the Raven family, who are the most caring and supportive group of people in the world. I would not have made it through cancer without the support of my students and the dedicated professionals that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years.
My top experiences here included taking the band to Hawaii to perform at the 70thanniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Watching my students be directed by a Pearl Harbor survivor, and seeing the impact that the survivors’ stories had on their lives, was an unforgettable experience.
In 2009, I was selected into the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation teacher exchange program that allowed me to study in Berlin, Germany. That included a visit to a concentration camp. The opportunity allowed me to develop a deeper and more personal understanding of World War II that I was able to share with my students through their lessons.
What advice would you give to future teachers?
You must love your students and want to develop meaningful relationships with them. Teaching your content is only one part of the process of this career.
What advice would you give to incoming students and parents at Sussex Tech?
With both my daughters having graduated from Sussex Tech, I’m proud of the education they received. I hope all incoming students take advantage of all the opportunities here at Tech to prepare them for the future.
What are your plans in retirement?
I plan to spend as much time with my family as I can, including with my granddaughter. I’m looking forward to going to the beach, reading, and traveling!
Career Highlights: Wicomico County Public Schools, fifth-grade teacher (20+ students per year), Pinehurst Elementary School, 1997-1990; Cape Henlopen School District, seventh-grade social studies teacher (140+ students per year), Mariner Middle, Milton Middle, and Lewes Middle schools; Sussex Technical High School, social studies teacher (170+ students per year), 2005-2019.
Education: Master of Education, focus in reading, Salisbury State University, 1992; Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education, concentration in social studies, Salisbury State College, 1987.
Other: As class advisor, helped raise more than $6,000 for the American Cancer Society in honor of a student who died of leukemia. Nominee for Geography Teacher of the Year by the Delaware Geographic Alliance, 1998. Volunteer with Relay for Life, fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.