Nancy Parsons knew a teacher was being honored at Davis Elementary School on Phenomenal Friday, and she thought she knew which teacher. She was wrong. As Parsons’ student, Gannon, announced her name as the Teacher of the Week, a look of surprise washed over her.
“I was totally shocked, surprised and humbled that I was the one that Gannon picked,” said Parsons, a Target teacher at Davis Elementary. “It was a great honor.”
Before Gannon named Parsons the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week, Parsons was busy producing the school’s “Tiger Morning Wake Up News Program.” As students recited the Pledge of Allegiance and members of the Davis Chorus performed live for the school, Parsons saw no clue she was about to be showered with gifts from community partners like the Atlanta Braves and Chick-fil-A for being the Teacher of the Week.
“As I watched [the news program], I figured there was a teacher being honored,” Parsons recalled. “I thought it was Ms. Quigg, one of our first grade teachers. So I wouldn’t let her leave the newsroom when her students were done with the [Pledge of Allegiance.]”
Even when Gannon started telling the school about the teacher who had impacted him the most, Parsons still did not catch on.
“I thought ‘wow, Ms. Quigg is great that she did all that in first grade,’” Parson explained. “She is great!’”
After Gannon named Parsons the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week, he explained more of why she stands out as his top teacher.
“She always makes things fun,” Gannon said. “She can even make the dullest of things, like hands-on equations, fun.”
The 22-year-veteran educator teaches Gannon in a way he understands. Dissecting a shark was one of his favorite memories of his three years in Parsons’ Target class.
However, it was Parsons’ advice to learn to adapt to every situation that made Gannon choose her as the Teacher of the Week.
“She said that if a group member is not doing well, you have to adapt to that situation and get through it,” Gannon explained. “She said you can’t always work alone. You have to work in groups no matter how bad you want to work alone.”
For Parsons, Gannon’s praise was affirmation to her that she is getting through to the students, and she was pleased to learn that Gannon notices and appreciates what teachers, like herself, are doing to help the students.
Hearing the accolades from Gannon may have meant even more to her because of her high opinion of him.
“Ganon is the model student. He is eager, motivated and happy,” Parsons said. “He is polite. He is grateful to be pushed. He is up to the challenge. He has a lot of good people skills and works well in a group.”
Gannon felt honored to hear his teacher’s kind words. Being chosen out of all the students at his school to select the Teacher of the Week also boosted Gannon’s confidence. When Gannon was first called to the office, he thought his name was drawn in a school raffle or he was the winner of a jellybean contest. When he found out, he thought the actual reason was more phenomenal.
“Choosing a Teacher of the Week does top being chosen for a raffle or a jelly bean [contest],” Gannon said.