Top Teacher: Liz Henke

Top Teacher: Liz Henke

POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - Primary grade teachers must work from the heart as much as from books.

There are benefits to teaching first and second graders for Liz Henke.

“The bigger kids are as tall as me. So, we’re eye level, so I like little kids. And they just love harder,” Henke said.

And that feeds Henke’s own passion, the one that drew her to the classroom at Pooler’s Risen Savior Academy seven years ago to reach young children beyond a given day’s lesson.

“You focus on the academics, but it’s also about the whole child. You must teach the emotional and social things as well. They love school, so they come in and they’re ready to learn right away, which I love. And they love you, so you never have to worry ... when their sad, they give you a hug. When you’re sad, they give you a hug. They just love learning and that makes my teaching even better.”

Henke was surprised this week to be named a WTOC Top Teacher, but she again feels closer to her students now that she is back in class with them.

“Last year, when we had to virtually teach, that was really hard because we couldn’t be with each other. I made a lot of videos so they could see me, and I would Zoom with them so they could see me as well. But it’s awesome because we’re back in school because it’s better in school,” she said.

And Henke started to understand that when she was about the age of the children she now teaches.

“My first and second grade teacher got me into teaching. She made teaching look like fun and I was like, that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. And I like working with kids more than adults sometimes. Kids are just easier.”

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