OUR VIEW: Teachers of the Year candidates all have their own way of keeping students engaged

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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Over the past few months, we have worked to interview every Troup County School System teacher of the year. There are only a couple of educators we’ve yet to interview, but those stories are coming in the days and weeks ahead as work to get them all highlighted.

Not long from now, a handful of these TOTY individuals will be finalists for the countywide teacher of the year award. In the spring, the winner will be announced and will move on to compete for Georgia teacher of the year.

We’ll be the first to tell you that we are glad we don’t have to decide who our countywide teacher of the year is. There are so many deserving teachers.

We already knew there were incredible teachers in our school system, but it is truly fascinating hearing them talk about their students and how they teach. While there are certainly guidelines to follow, protocols to work within and test scores and other evaluations to measure effective instruction, all of these teachers have their own way, unique way of keeping students engaged.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all fit. In the real world, teaching isn’t done inside of a box. You have to find a way to really get students engaged in their education, and these teachers manage to do that every day.

In a world where the internet is always one phone swipe away, that is more challenging than ever.

Whether it’s unique experiments, a listening ear or relating to students through sports or other extracurricular activities, these teachers of the year have found a way to get our area youth to listen.

Of course, there are some things that are true across the board.

Just about all of them have said that the children in their classroom become their old children. All of them are masters at their subjects and truly enjoy going to school each day.

These individuals are a special group — top of their profession in the middle of this pandemic, where things seem to change in an instant. One outbreak of COVID might mean the masks have to go back on, or teachers have to adjust on the fly and teach virtually.

It’s not easy, and it’s not something anybody can or will do.

We applaud all of the teachers of the year at schools across our county, and we thank you for the work you do every day in our classrooms.

It’s often a thankless job, but it shouldn’t be.

Thank you for all you do. Keep up the great work.