CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said she always dreamt of being a teacher when she was younger.
“In my youth, I was pretty much taught that my only choices were to be a nurse or to be a teacher, and I was bound and determined not to be either, so followed a different path," said Bellamy.
Bellamy went on to accomplish much on a different path, as a social worker, lawyer and in public office.
Now, she’s getting to live out her original dream, but not in the traditional sense. Virtual learning has allowed Bellamy to help her 5-year-old granddaughter, Kennedy Wilson-Michelle, with assignments.
Even though virtual school has been a learning experience on all fronts, Bellamy said she never could shake the desire to be an elementary school teacher.
“Always thought somehow that the magic grade was third grade," she said. "By third grade, they have a lot of the fundamentals in place.”
The lesson plans she helps Kennedy with range from spelling, to coloring and even learning how to be a good citizen.
For Bellamy, the teaching experience has been just as rewarding as she’s always hoped it would be.
“I like seeing her grasp new information, and she’s learning that in this family, learning is what we do forever," she said.
The mayor position is technically part-time, although it can be a lot more demanding. Bellamy acknowledged she’s developed an appreciation for all the families in her city that have to juggle virtual school with working full time.
Because to many, virtual school is proving to be a full-time job in-and-of-itself.
“I have to do the full gamut," said Bellamy. "I have to go out there and run around the house and play hopscotch.”
Fortunately, Kennedy has four grandparents that are all kind of splitting the virtual school duties so Bellamy has a chance to continue her mayoral duties.