They say a good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. That’s exactly what kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Melonie Ybarra, does at Providence Elementary School.
Students, teachers, and administrators at the school say her big heart and happy countenance makes her a very special teacher in the Tennessee Valley.
Inside Mrs. Ybarra’s preschool classroom, you’ll hear a lot of laughter. Smiling students is exactly what makes Mrs. Ybarra happy.
She’s always known this is where she’s supposed to be.
“I think teachers are born,” said Mrs. Ybarra. “We are taught how to work with our students, but the love of students is something you’re born with.”
Mrs. Ybarra also teaches special needs students.
“I love to see their faces light up when they get an idea and they connect something,” said Mrs. Ybarra. “To be a part of that is just a blessing.”
The Valley’s Top Teacher says to be a great teacher is to be a great learner.
“I need to learn every day,” said Mrs. Ybarra. “Just like my kiddos. It never stops. I just learn every single day and to always reflect on what they teach me and what they can be open to.”
School faculty and administration says Mrs.Ybarra’s efforts don’t go unnoticed.
“She’s extremely dedicated,” said Principal Bonner. “She cares about the kids most of all. She works very well with them. (She’s) their biggest advocate. Her classroom is organized. It’s not just organized. It’s alive and bright. The kids love to be there.”
Mrs. Ybarra says her classroom motto is “I can do it.”
“Instead of ‘you can do it,’ I tell my students, ‘I can do it’ because they repeat what I say,” said Mrs. Ybarra. “And we need to hear in our head ‘I can do it.'”
Mrs. Ybarra says at the end of the day, it’s all about instilling confidence, love and positivity in her pre-k classroom.
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