Bryant Elementary School teacher Nathalie Desir wiped away tears as she hugged her former student, who selected her as the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week.
“She was crying,” said Bryant Elementary fifth grader Autumn, who named her favorite teacher over the morning school announcements. “Ms. Desir seemed overjoyed. I think she got a little emotional because she wasn’t expecting it.”
Autum was correct. Her announcement surprised her teacher because Desir didn’t know that her teaching would still impact Autumn three years after she left her classroom.
“I was blown away. I was extremely surprised. It made me emotional,” said Desir. “To be honored by a student, it is emotional because it makes you see that, wow, I had a lasting impression on her. I honestly can say that my life is not going to be the same after today.”
Autumn described her second grade teacher as extraordinary. She adapts her teaching style to reach each student.
“I chose her because she is really nice, easy to talk to, kind-spirited, and she was a great teacher, who taught me in a way that I could learn,” explained Autumn.
Bryant Elementary Principal Dr. Freda Williams concurred with Autumn’s selection of Desir as the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week. Dr. Williams, who will be retiring this year after 40 years in education, said Desir stands out as a hard working team player, who goes above and beyond. Most importantly, the first focus for the “rock star” teacher is the success of her students.
Autumn recognized that teaching is stressful at times, and the Phenomenal Friday award is one way to say thank you to teachers like Desir.
“It is important to honor teachers because they don’t really get recognized a lot,” Autumn added.
This was the first teaching award of any kind for Desir. She appreciated the community gifts from Chick-fil-A, the Atlanta Braves and others that came along with the award. However, that’s not why she described being named the Teacher of the Week as “the best feeling ever.”
Learning she made a lasting impact on her students made it a phenomenal day for Desir.
“It gives me hope,” said the nine-year veteran teacher. “I can do this. I can keep teaching and keep making a difference in the lives of the students.”
Desir wants her students to know that she teaches because she loves them and wants them to reach their full potential. She is preparing her students to be successful leaders in the community.
That’s why she is a phenomenal teacher.
“I want to let Ms. Desir know that she is a really great person, and I admire her for being a teacher because I don’t think I could do her job and be in her position every single day,” Autumn said.
Learn about what makes the other Phenomenal Friday Teachers of the Week stand out at their schools: http://goo.gl/Eg31Wc