Morristown (WVLT) - The first year on the job for new teachers can be exciting, but also overwhelming. Especially when you're dealing with kindergartners who depend on you for everything, and believe everything you say.
But this week's Golden Apple Award winner is not only up for the challenge, she's winning the hearts of her students.
Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has more.
Meet Ms. Bethany Conrad's class at Cornerstone Academy in Morristown.
A group of kindergartners who hang on their teacher's every word, soaking up information like little sponges. Ms. Conrad says getting their attention and keeping it makes her job worthwhile..
"I love seeing them understand a new concept and we're teaching, reading right now, and I love just when the light clicks and they start reading signs and they start believing that they're smart and it's just really neat to see that light in their eyes," Conrad said.
A light that, Ms. Conrad says, should burn forever. She says she has quite a challenge in front of her, but she depends on her memories of her past experiences with her teachers to bring a sense of warmth to the classroom.
"I remember their names and how they made me feel and how they smelled, just the joy of learning," Conrad said.
But that isn't all Ms. Conrad says made her want to be a teacher. She says everyday, she thinks about her students' futures and how she can make a difference during their first year in a real school setting.
"I've always loved children. I've always really believed they can become more than what anybody gives them credit for," Conrad said.
And as her first year of teaching comes to an end, Ms. Conrad says her students aren't the only ones learning lessons. She says she didn't think she would develop such strong bonds with the class, but now, she wouldn't have it any other way.
"A lot of leadership potential. They love each other and they love me and they're just a special group of kids," Conrad said.
Congratulations Ms. Bethany Conrad. This week's Golden Apple Award winner.
If you'd like to nominate a special East Tennessee teacher for our Golden Apple Award, just drop us a note here at the station.
Again, our thanks to Shoney's and East Tennessee Children's Hospital for bringing these special educator stories to you each week.