When you teach Kindergarten, you have to be ready for anything.
We enlisted the help of Jessica Smith's class at Marlow Elementary School in Effingham County to help us surprise their teacher with our WTOC Top Teacher Award. It was no surprise that throughout our surprise, Smith kept her composure.
As a Kindergarten teacher, you have to expect the unexpected.
"It's a lot of fun. You never know what's going to happen," Smith said.
What happens in her class is the start of endless questions and learning for her students.
"Kindergarten is not what it used to be, not just coloring and playing all day. We read and write, we work a lot. I just want them to love school, do their best, and learn all they can," she said.
Smith, who graduated from Armstrong State, loves being a teacher.
"It's all I've ever wanted to do. Teaching is a calling, it's a natural part, the only thing I ever wanted to do," she said. "Kindergarten is the grade I always wanted to teach. This is my tenth year here. I'm not a creature of change. This is the grade I wanted, and I hope to stay here," Smith said.
She says at the end of the day, it's all for the students.
"I get lots of love, and just seeing them grow, how much they can learn in Kindergarten. They know I love them and just want the best for them."
To nominate a Top Teacher or to watch past stories, click here.
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