CARAWAY, AR (KAIT) - The February Teacher of the Month - Gayla Anderson from Riverside East Elementary - responded to the surprise with a few tears.
Anderson said the spirit of support is no stranger to her classroom. She teaches Kindergarten through 6th grade special education. After 29 years of teaching, she believed it was how she cares for her children that stood out during the teacher of the month nominations.
"I try to look at the whole child. They're my kids when they come through the door. And I treat them like my kids. And I love them like my kids. And maybe that's what someone else saw," said Anderson.
Positivity covers the walls in her classroom, and her students are literally surrounded by support to achieve their full potential. Anderson said she’s rewarded for her work every day by her students reaching their goals.
“I had a student this week to say I love to read and two years ago, he wouldn’t have said that. I don’t think he meant that as appreciation, but I took that as we accomplished,” said Anderson.
She said it's the love of the kids and the love of watching them learn that keeps her going.
She offered advice to other teachers aspiring to reach her near three decades of experience.
“Don’t let kids say they can’t cause they can,” said Anderson.
She thanked her students and the parents of her students for the recognition.