HOXIE, ARKANSAS (KAIT) --Being a teacher can often be a thankless, tough job. But to your children you know how special they are. Each month during the school year we salute a special teacher that you have selected, as we search for the Teacher of the Year.
October's teacher, Amy Barnhill is from Hoxie and teaches in the elementary school she attended as a child.
"You know the kids have a lot to learn, the kids have a lot to learn in a year. And there's a lot of pressure on teachers and there's a lot of pressure on the kids." says Barnhill as she worked with her students on phonics.
Barnhill has been teaching for 13 years, not a long time, but not a short time either. I asked, "What has been your greatest challenge as a teacher?"
Barnhill, "I guess you could call me a worrier. But that's probably the most challenging part; Just knowing what I do for my kids is the right thing."
This year her class is small with only 14 students but even that few can be a handful sometimes Barnhill says. Activities and lessons move fast. Using Smart technology instead of chalk boards the students work on word problems then with a flick of the wrist they move on to the next one.
Amy says she's laid back in her style but that doesn't mean the kids run wild.
"I tell them up front that this is way that this is the way our day is going to be. And these are the things you can or can't do."
Back in the day, third grade was a lot of fun. "Can you compare your third grade experience to now?" I asked .
Barnhill, "I think the curriculum is harder and I think there is more responsibility on children now. Accountability on state tests create a lot more pressure on teachers now a days. We also have schedules we have to stay on and the frameworks that we have to teach. So I try to do my best to have fun with the kids but still get everything accomplished. "
Nobody ever has said that teaching is an easy career. I asked Amy to describe the best part about teaching.
Barnhill, "I think people probably think it's a cliche but I think just the children, being with the children working with kids and working with parents."
After a busy morning, the kids trooped out of the room for music. Barnhill took a moment to reflect about her job.
"I love my job. I love, I love coming every day for the kids I love seeing them."
If you would like to nominate your favorite teacher, go to our website K-A-I-T 8 dot com.
Scroll down to the middle of the page and click on the Teacher of the Year link and fill out the form.