The motto of Mrs. Caitlyn Blankenship at Whitesburg School is love first, teach second.
“For me it’s not just teaching, but it is about teaching them how to be a good human being,” shares Caityln Blankenship, the Valley’s Top Teacher.
She breaks down barriers and creates a family atmosphere in her fourth grade class. They always know they can go to her for help.
“She actually helps us without work and kind of like has fun with us and stuff,” says Samarion Simpson, a fourth grade student.
“She is really nice and she is pretty and she is really respectful to you,” explains Brantley Kate Simmons, a fellow fourth grader.
One of the ways she shows them respect is by always listening to them and having a personal relationship with each of her kids.
“Each morning they are greeted by ‘Good Morning’ with their name, and they have to repeat that back to me,” says Mrs. Blankenship. “That is just one of those things, that they might not have someone at home doing that, teaching them those manners, so we do that. And at the end of the day they are always left with a hug.”
Mrs. Blankenship makes class fun to show her kids that they can love learning.
“She lets us do dice and sometimes we play games to do math,” says Brantley Kate.
“For me, I absolutely loved school,” says Mrs. Blankenship. “So if I can just give them a glimpse of what it can be like, then I have done my job.
Mrs. Blankenship says these kids are her babies, and that is exactly how she treats them.
“I want them to know that I am their number one cheerleader and that I will always be there for them,” smiles Mrs. Blankenship.
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