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Melinda Richardson

Melinda Richardson Powell County

Where do you teach? Clay City Elementary School, Powell County

What subject(s)/grade(s) do you teach? 5th grade math and writing

How many years have you taught? 18

Why did you become a teacher? I chose to become a teacher because I absolutely love teaching others, and I wanted to be a positive influence for the children in my classroom. I wanted to inspire children to help make our world a better place!

What has been the best part of teaching that you didn’t expect when entering the profession? The best part of teaching that I didn’t expect is visiting with students who come back to share their successes. Having a student stop by to share about a new job, a college success, a military success, etc. makes my heart sing! During the past few weeks, two of my former students have been subbing at my school. When they tell me that they still remember a certain part of my class, it truly reinforces that I am making a difference. Hearing students tell me I made a difference in their lives or inspired them to follow a dream is not something I expected when I entered the profession, but it is truly one of the best parts of teaching.

What is one thing you wish non-teachers knew about what you do?

I wish that non-teachers knew that a teacher’s job encompasses so much more than simply imparting knowledge. We play the role of mentor, counselor, nurse, social worker, referee, provider, and motivator, etc.
I wish that non-teachers knew that teachers spend a great deal of time worrying about the student who is referred to social services, the student who is hungry, the student who is not receiving support, the student who struggles academically, socially, etc. Our students do not leave our minds when we leave our school.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as a teacher?  I think one of my greatest accomplishments as a teacher is inspiring my former students to become teachers. One of my students recently came to me and said that she had chosen to be a teacher because she wanted to influence kids to rise above difficulties and challenges. To inspire some of the future generation of teachers is one of my greatest accomplishments.

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t teaching? When I am not teaching, I enjoy traveling, reading, hiking, going to church, baking, and spending time with my family and friends. I absolutely love traveling to places that I have taught my students about in class.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? My superpower would be “self-duplication,” so that I could be in multiple places helping multiple people at one time!

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