Thomasville- There's a big show of support for a teacher from Thomasville. Fourth graders at Cross Creek Elementary School just voted Kathy Thompson the "Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year." Wal-Mart sponsors the honor, but the students are the only ones who weigh-in on the decision.
The eager looks from Kathy Thompson's fourth graders reflect the eager minds she loves to teach. It's no wonder Thompson's students voted her Wal-Mart's Thomas County teacher of the year when you experience her caring personality, and patient demeanor. "I just keep telling them stay with me, don't worry, if you don't get it today, I'm not going to give up," says Thompson.
That's a dedication to these students that shines through with her commitment to each and every one of them. "Sometimes I feel overwhelmed that I can't meet the needs of all the students," says Thompson. "So do you consider yourself a surrogate mother, so to speak," I asked. "I tell them I'm their daytime Mom," Thompson responded.
One of the main reasons Thompson is so effective in the classroom is because of her teaching style. Instead of just talking to the students, she incorporates hands-on learning. "It keeps them involved and makes it fun. They forget they're learning because they're having fun," says Thompson.
Case in point when you talk to the students she shepherds towards middle school. "I'm going to learn something different everyday and it's going to be good," says student David Tinsley. "If you can't understand it, she'll give you help," adds classmate Quinesha Tineal. "She's a good reader and she picks out a lot of good books," says fellow student Hannah Harrell.
Despite all of the top-notch praise, the award isn't the reward for this top teacher. "It makes me feel good that they know I care more than if they just learn their math or their social studies," says Thompson. She adds that seeing her students succeed is all she needs.
Thompson doesn't want to take all of the credit for what her students learn. She says it's a collaborative effort between her and her coworkers.