Steadfast in her belief in the importance of getting students started on the right foot, Constance Bivens has dedicated her career to teaching young children. She has found that kids’ relationships with school are formed early on, and that kids recognize and appreciate being in classrooms filled with love and respect. This is why she decided to focus on childhood education. Dr. Bivens personally really enjoyed school growing up; she always felt at home in the classroom and quickly learned to value hard work and the pursuit of knowledge. In her eyes, being able to pass on that passion was a blessing.
To prepare for her journey, Dr. Bivens earned a Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University’s George Peabody College of Education and Human Development in 1960 and became a certified educator. She got her first job teaching in Broward County Schools, that same year and knew she was where she was meant to be. Dr. Bivens spent a total of 33 years within the district, and quickly garnered a reputation for her innovative techniques and kind nature. This led her to one of her favorite employers, Nova Schools, which was a research and development center with the goal of creating new idea trials to improve kindergarten. Dr. Bivens worked with a lot of other teachers and was given the opportunity to try out new things, which was a lot of fun. She also enjoyed her position as a teacher with Jefferson County Schools in Louisville, Fort Knox Schools, and Madison Consolidated Schools. She retired in 1992.
One of the highlights of Dr. Bivens’s career was a memorable encounter with a little girl at school. She saw the girl sitting on a chair outside the office because she had gotten into trouble, and when Dr. Bivens approached, the girl told her she was waiting for her because she knew Dr. Bivens would still love her. The moment was very touching and has stuck with her all these years. She is also proud to have earned money for The Virginia, Nelson and Constance Bivens Scholarship at Ivy Tech College for those who cannot afford college, and to have completed graduate school herself. She ended up with a Master of Arts from her undergraduate alma mater in 1966 and a Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University in 1982.
When Dr. Bivens wasn’t working, she was combining her love for travel with her desire to better herself. She particularly enjoyed visiting schools in other countries; she got a lot of wonderful ideas from her international peers and felt that there was always more to learn. Some of the places Dr. Bivens went to include the British Isles, Germany, Italy, Austria, Egypt, and all the Scandinavian countries. Additionally, the International Society of Delta Kappa Gamma asked her to represent the whole society in a meeting in Melbourne, Australia, for teachers from all over the world. Dr. Bivens feels lucky to have led such a wonderful life.