SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Math can seem like a foreign language to some of us, but for Haywood Ellison, numbers just make sense.
Ellison grew up in Waynesboro and graduated from Georgia Southern. He has been teaching at Memorial Day School in Savannah for the last eight years, where he’s always willing to help his students, even after they graduate.
“It may come easy to me, but I know it doesn’t always come easy to them,” Ellison said. “You want them to be successful. They may not see it at the time. They think you are on them, ‘you need to do this, you need to do that,’ but the ultimate goal is for them to be successful.”
“A lot of them come back for help, saying, ‘I need help with my math for college, can you help?’ And I’m always willing to do that, and some of them like to come back and talk and tell me, ‘Hey, I should have listened to you,’ or, 'I’m glad you told me about this.”
Ellison says building a relationship with the student is the most important thing a teacher can do.
“If the student feels you know them and really listen to them, it will be easier to teach them, because if you don’t have a relationship, no matter how great a teacher you are with the content, they are not going to listen to you,” Ellison said. “So, you have to build that relationship with them.”
Ellison also coaches girls basketball and volleyball, but he hopes his impact is felt beyond the classroom and court,
“It’s not always about academics or athletics. It’s about the lessons that you can teach. Life lessons. I hope when they get older, they can say, 'hey, I had a teacher like Mr. Ellison. This is what he did for me, he helped me to see this, it wasn’t always the math or basketball, but he really helped me with something about living life that helped me along.”