As a college student, Chris McSwain didn’t know what his purpose in life was, but he certainly didn’t think it was teaching. Divine intervention, however, led him down a path that took him …
Chris McSwain: This is my fourth year working for Cartersville City. I’m a graduate of the Cartersville City School System and always wanted to eventually get back here. I loved my decade spent at Woodland Middle School, but I’m glad to be a Hurricane again.
CM: It has been a very humbling experience. I work with some of the best teachers in the state of Georgia. To be honored among them has been overwhelming at times.
CM: I have wanted to teach social studies since graduating college. My first job offer was in mathematics, and I sort of got stuck there for 13 years. I love teaching math, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to finally teach social studies. Two months in, and it has already been a great experience. I am blessed with some incredible students and supportive parents this year.
CM: I love working with middle school-aged kids. They energize me on a daily basis. There is never a dull moment in a middle school. A wide variety of personalities are on full display. I think people seem to get a bit boring as we age; not so much in a middle school. It really is a fun job. The part of the job I like the least is when I can’t motivate a student to learn. Sometimes we learn things about kids that are heartbreaking. Some of the issues they deal with are out of our control, and it is hard to accept that I can’t help change their mindset. I believe all students can learn, but some of them just don’t want to, and it often keeps me up at night.
CM: Aside from watching Trevor Lawrence throw incredible touchdown passes, it has probably been the awesome teachers I’m blessed to work with. My colleagues at WMSE were wonderful, and it was difficult to leave. I miss them. However, the CMS staff has been very welcoming and have challenged me to be better at my job.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
CM: I loved collecting baseball cards as a kid. I still have tons in my basement. My favorite MLB player was Nolan Ryan, the strikeout king – probably because I struck out all the time in Little League. I still have over 500 different cards of his, along with an autographed baseball.
CM: My “mamaw.” You won’t find her in a history book, but she is a historical figure to me. She was a phenomenal educator in Gordon County for 30-plus years. Beyond her job, Margaret was an incredible, godly person. Memories of her still inspire me as an educator and to be a better person. I ate many meals with her and would love to sit down and have one more dinner. She would be much more interesting than any celebrity I can think of.
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
CM: Made for retirement
DTN: If you could visit any period or event in the past, what would you choose and why?
CM: I would revisit the 90s. This was a fun decade; however, due to my own shortsightedness, full of mistakes. I would love to return to this decade with a better understanding of all the opportunities ahead of me and better prepare myself. I wasted many days then and would love to have them back to do something more productive.
DTN: Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what is the one thing you most look forward to accomplishing?
CM: I’ve never really made a bucket list. However, I can’t wait until my daughters are a little older so my wife and I can travel with them more.
DTN: What would the title of your autobiography be and why?
CM: “Out of Darkness, Into the Light: A Story of Redemption.” Why? Because I was once in darkness – lost and cluel