Top Teacher: Tiata Atkins

Top Teacher: Tiata Atkins

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Tiata Atkins teaches third grade at May Howard Elementary School and it’s easy to see what motivates her every day.

“These sweet little faces. They are precious. I love them and love being here,” Atkins said.

Atkins says her main goal is helping her students feel supported, safe and respected.

“I feel like that relationship is the most important piece, once that falls into place, the learning almost comes naturally. As soon as they feel safe and valued, they take ownership and are willing to learn way more than if we didn't have that relationship,” she said.

And after that relationship is established, the children are not afraid to try.

“We focus on how making mistakes are OK. It's a learning process and because of that I found that so many of the students, have grown as thinkers, they are independent thinkers, they are taking ownership of their own learning,” Atkins said. “It’s just fascinating to watch them grow like that.”

Atkins says there is nothing better than seeing that moment when a student finally learns how to solve the problem.

“There is nothing to explain it, it is such a wonderful feeling when those students break through, it's awesome, it’s incredible, it is what brings you back,” Atkins said.

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