Mrs. Melanie Yancy and her third graders at Cherokee Elementary School were very excited to find out she was the Valley’s Top Teacher.
“I was excited and shocked, and just humbled,” smiles Melanie Yancy, the Valley’s Top Teacher. “And a little nervous!”
“She got surprised and we were all like clapping and yelling like ‘We’re going to be on the news!'” exclaims Madeline Morris, a third grade student.
When Mrs. Yancy looks back at the teachers who impacted her when she was a child, what she remembers most is how they loved her through any hard times. Mrs. Yancy says making sure her third graders know that she loves them is the most important thing.
“That is something that I just set as a goal for myself is that no matter what happens, I wanted them to know that they were loved and that they were welcomed and encouraged,” explains Mrs. Yancy. “I want them to know that they are a part of my family.”
“When we are doing something wrong, she says ‘I love you, but blah blah blah’ about the thing we are doing wrong, so she really shows that she loves her students,” says Cody Cannon, a third grade student.
Mrs. Yancy loves to adventure, but she says many of her children may not ever get the chance to travel the world – so she encourages them to explore through reading.
“I tell them that we can go anywhere we want to go through our books and through our adventures,” says Mrs. Yancy. “So, of course, every book I read I tell them it’s my favorite, because I can’t choose and they say ‘Every one is your favorite.’ I say yes, it is, because they all take me to a new place.”
Whether it is reading or geography, she creates a safe place for kids to learn and she is always in their corner rooting for them.
“She encourages us every step of the way and she helps us if we really need help,” says Madeline.
Mrs. Yancy says she will always be her kids’ biggest cheerleader, even after they leave her class.
“I go through the McDonald’s drive-thru and I see former students and I say ‘You are doing so great! Keep it up! Being a productive citizen!'” smiles Mrs. Yancy. “So just anywhere that I see them out and about, I just want them to know that they will be loved and encouraged.”
When her kids go onto the next grade she gives them all of the tools to feel confident and to reach their goals.
“I want them to feel accomplished, that they know that they have worked hard and have achieved a lot of success throughout the year,” shares Mrs. Melanie Yancy. “I just hope that they will always remember those things and that it will help them wherever they go.”
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