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Leslie Battle brings life to her fifth grade students

When Leslie Battle isn’t enjoying trips to the mountains and the beach with her family, you can find her interacting with students in her fifth-grade classroom.

While doing so, Battle loves to connect learning activities to their personal lives.

“I work to make learning fun and real-life. I want my students to understand this is not something they are learning for the moment, but that lifelong learning is a process,” Battle said. “They understand they are building upon their knowledge so it can be applied to middle school, high school and life.”

On this particular day, Battle’s students are starting a free-writing assignment with writing prompts she provided. They have to write for 7-10 minutes about whatever comes to their mind using the topics on the one-page paper. When the class begins discussing the prompts, Battle invites students to add topics of interest. They all jump at the chance to share their ideas. This is the type of experience she loves to receive in her 5th grade English language arts and science classes at Hollis Hand Elementary.

With more than 20 years of experience as an educator, the LaGrange, Georgia native says teaching is never boring.

“You never know what to expect from the minds, and mouths, of these amazing kids,” Battle said. “Each day and lesson brings something news. It’s definitely not a career for the weak, but the rewards are limitless.”

She believes literacy is important for the growth, development and success of her students. She also believes that learning is active and students must be present to increase their knowledge.

“Being out of the classroom when there is not a true need sets a child up for frustration and low self-esteem,” Battle said. “In my experiences, children want to come to school to learn if there is not a genuine need to be absent. As a teacher, even though we see many changes through the years, there is always one constant — kids want to learn, and they truly want to succeed.”

Battle says her classroom environment helps them to build upon the skills to do just that. Building relationships with her students and parents also helps her students succeed.