Harmony-Leland Elementary School fifth grader Jade recognizes that “there wouldn’t be any other career” without teachers. That’s why she was excited for the opportunity to honor the teacher who has impacted her school career the most.
For Jade, it was her kindergarten teacher Ceilette Lewis-Heron, who built her foundation of learning. She named Lewis-Heron the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week during a festive celebration inside the school’s media center August 25.
“I wouldn’t have made it to the other grades if it wasn’t for [Ms. Lewis-Heron],” Jade explained.
She credits her kindergarten teacher with preparing her for Target, a program for gifted students. In addition to all the math and reading skills she learned, Jade described the Phenomenal Friday Teacher’s class as fun.
“I enjoyed laughing in that class,” Jade added. “Thank you, Ms. Lewis-Heron, for teaching all those different things, for showing me different ways and strategies to do problems when it comes to math, reading, and writing.”
Although Lewis-Heron checks in with Jade and her teachers to see how her former student is progressing, almost like she is her own child, the 19-year veteran teacher was totally surprised when Jade selected her as the Teacher of the Week.
Lewis-Heron knew there was going to be a surprise when several classes gathered in the media center Friday morning. She tried to slip out of site of the TV camera, telling a coworker that she didn’t want to get caught on the camera. She had no clue all the excitement and yes, even the Chick-fil-A cow, was there to honor her. The Phenomenal Teacher said she didn’t know what a surprise felt like until Jade announced her name.
“To hear my name, I was excited. I was definitely caught off guard,” Lewis-Heron confessed. “I realized that Jade had paid attention to what I had tried to do. I’m very appreciative because it lets me know that what I’m doing has impacted [a student.]”
Being honored as the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week wasn’t the first time Lewis-Heron had learned that her influence stayed with a student long after leaving her classroom.
More than eight years after leaving Lewis-Heron’s class, a former elementary student wrote about her in a college application.
“That was inspiring to know,” Lewis-Heron recalled. “I think I’m in it for the right reasons. I love my kids, and I’m genuinely giving them all that I have. It is always rewarding to know that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.”
The Phenomenal Teacher has a theory about why students like Jade remember her.
“They know who cares,” she said. “They know who has their best interest at heart. That makes a difference as a teacher, as an educator.”
Watch video of the Phenomenal Friday celebration at Harmony-Leland Elementary: goo.gl/B5j36H
Learn about what makes the other Phenomenal Friday Teachers of the Week stand out at their schools: http://goo.gl/Eg31Wc