PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Theresa McKay, a 5th and 6th grade teacher at St. Mary's Catholic School in Paragould, was selected as our October Teacher of the Month.
A Knob native and Arkansas State University graduate, McKay started her career at St. Mary's 11 years ago.
She always knew she wanted to be a teacher. After working in the banking industry for several years, she decided to follow her heart and pursue a career in education.
"I've always loved children," McKay said. "You have to have a love for children if you're going to teach. I've always had good experiences at school, I've always liked my teachers, and it was just a natural thing."
One parent noticed how her child naturally gravitated towards McKay after dealing with health issues in the midst of the school year.
In the nomination letter, the mom said McKay paid special attention to her child, helping him get back up to speed, something she said his previous school district did not do.
"I treat these children like they're mine," McKay said. "I want them to feel that they're loved, that they're cared for, and that they can come to me anytime they need to come to me. That's how I would want my child to be treated if they were in that situation."
Not only is she a positive influence on her students, McKay says they brighten her day when she's feeling down.
She said one of the greatest rewards of being a teacher is seeing a student finally understand a subject they've struggled with.
"If you can teach one child one thing and you know that they've got it and they understand it, it's a feeling you can't describe," McKay said. "That child is not going to struggle with that anymore, they're going to be able to succeed in that area. So, that's always fulfilling."
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