LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. — Music, bright colors, and comfy chairs are just a few of the reasons kids feel at home in the third grade classroom of Mrs. Stacey Price at South Lincoln Elementary.
"When they feel like they can come into a classroom that is warm and inviting and they don't feel fearful of messing up, it just opens up so many doors so they can relax and learn, and not feel so scared," explains Stacey Price, our Valley's Top Teacher.
Mrs. Stacey always lets her kids know how much she loves them.
"Like she shows us attention, she give us hugs every morning, she says hi to us," says Ken'Nyia Gordon, a third grade student.
"We'll walk and she will try to hug us and say hi to us and say 'Have a good day,'" explains Eli Phelps, a fellow third grader.
"That could very easily be the only hug they get for the day, because when they leave us you don't know what type of environment they are going into it," shares Mrs. Stacey. "So you want your environment to be one they want to come into every day."
She shows them love while also teaching them good work ethic, perseverance, and a growth mindset.
"I'm not just here, like I tell them, to teach you ELA and Social Studies," explains Mrs. Stacey. "I am here to teach great character, we take care of the whole child."
Mrs. Stacey works one on one with her kids to improve their academics, but she is also a person they can go to for anything they are struggling with.
"She helps me with my work when I am having hard time, she lets me talk to her when I need to, and calm myself down when I need to," shares Ken'Nyia.
"If you are, if something is wrong with you, she will take you to the nurse," says Eli. "If you have a splitting headache, she will call your mom."
She creates an open and genuine environment in her classroom so kids can be themselves and she can create impactful relationships with them.
"They know when you are talking to them and you are present in that conversation," says Mrs. Stacey. "When they know you are authentic and you are being real, it is just another opportunity to connect with them."
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