MARTHA (SALIM) BYNUM ‘85 is an educator. She started her career in the Bronx and has been teaching in Lancaster for over 24 years, currently teaching 6th Grade at Reynolds Middle School.
“I realize the hours I spend with students are only a part of their lives. Some students come from very complicated home situations. The challenge is to meet students where they are, discover what they need, try to meet those needs, and educate them. It’s a constant balancing act between pushing students academically and supporting them emotionally.”
Martha attended Locust Grove, and says, “I was fortunate enough to have Grace Yoder as my teacher. She made me feel special and brought excitement to the classroom. She helped foster my love of reading, and my love of teaching reading.” Influential to Martha at LMH was Dr. Elias George. “It was not easy to be one of the few students of color. He was one of the first teachers I had who looked like me, had an accent that I was familiar with, and shared similar cultural ideas. He encouraged debate as part of learning, stretched me academically. He was a role model for me.”
Martha equips and prepares students for their next phase in life and shared, “This is a time in my life where I run into former students. Students I once had frequently come up to me for a hug; they fondly remember time spent in my classes. This brings me joy as a teacher.”
This quote from Maya Angelou serves as a reminder of her desire to live compassionately, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”