KILLEN, Ala. — When you talk to Mrs. Rhianna Bacon at Brooks Elementary School, it is easy to see she absolutely loves her Pre-K students.
She is an auxiliary teacher and is working to get her degree. She has been teaching for three years. Mrs. Bacon says God led her to this career and it's right where she is meant to be.
"I have never just felt at home like I do here," shares Rhianna Bacon, the Valley's Top Teacher. "I joke with my husband a lot, and pretty much anyone that knows me, if I go missing and you can't find me just look for the group of kids because that is where I'm going to be."
When school went virtual this past spring, Mrs. Bacon used her creative side and got right to work. Her son was a Pre-K student at the time, so she set up a little classroom and recorded some lessons.
"So I taught my son, I recorded myself teaching him our morning routine, everything we would do, and posted it for our students," says Mrs. Bacon.
Throughout 2020 she has made it a point to make sure her kids feel remembered and special. She sings them good morning syllable songs to make sure each one feels welcomed, and when a couple of her kids were not doing well emotionally during virtual learning, she went right to them.
"I just asked if I could come sit on their front porch," smiles Mrs. Bacon. "So I brought a headbands game, which we did not involve any kind of touching. We just played a headbands game and I read some books, and just talked to them."
Mrs. Bacon values the relationships with her kids and actively works to gain their trust. She just wants her kids to believe in themselves as much as she believes in them.
"It is that lasting impact," explains Mrs. Bacon. "To know that when they leave our classroom, they never really fully leave. They take parts of us with them, and they leave parts of themselves with us."
She also lets her kids know it is okay to mess up and make mistakes. No one is perfect and that is how you grow.
Mrs. Bacon is known for giving 110% of her heart and soul to her kids, and she hopes to keep doing that for years to come.
"If our kids don't learn anything else from us, but they learn that they are loved, valued, appreciated, and that they have a purpose that is much bigger than they can even imagine, them we have done what we set out to do," smiles Mrs. Bacon.
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