The second graders at Claysville Elementary say Mrs. Childress makes them laugh, but she also knows how to keep everyone in line.
“Sometimes on our sheets when they mess up on something, she says boo boo,” laughs second grader, Ryker Mcbride. “Uh-oh, they made a boo boo!”
Mrs. Childress believes play is important.
That’s why on Fridays after testing they have “Fun Fridays.”
“They have play dough, watercolors, and painting and stuff,” shares Mrs. Childress. “I know that sometimes teachers are rushed and don’t have the time or the resources to do it. A lot of these children don’t get to do these things at home and I like to treat them like I raise my kids.”
To the kids its just playtime…
“We get some toys out and we just play with them,” smiles Cheyenne Edwards, a second grade student of Mrs. Childress.
But little do they know, Mrs. Childress is molding their minds.
“They’re learning and working, but as long as they are enjoying it, they think they are playing, but they are really learning,” says Mrs. Childress.
She says little bodies aren’t meant to sit all day so she takes full advantage of their little school being seated right on the shore of Lake Guntersville.
“We go almost everyday outside to eat snack,” says Cheyenne Edwards, beaming with happiness.
“Recess has been shown to be very important, it gets their brain chugging, it releases stress for them, stress for me,” says Mrs. Childress. “We need to get out in the sunshine.”
Her students say that every kid should experience second grade with Mrs. Childress.
“She’s a good teacher and whoever comes to Claysville and they are in the second grade, I think they will have a good time,” says Ryker McBride.
But after 25 years of teaching in Marshall County, three years at Claysville, and changing the lives of hundreds of children, this will be Mrs. Childress’s last class.
“It’s everything I hoped it would be, and I love it,” shares Mrs. Childress as her eyes start to tear up. “I mean how many people can teach in a little school that has only one class per grade. It is one of a dying breed. And I thought, I want to experience that before I retire.”
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