Chelsea Sharpe teaches third grade English Language Arts (ELA) and social studies at West Elementary School. She has been at West since 2012 and has previously taught math and science.
Sharpe enjoys teaching ELA and reading because the subjects allow her to get into students’ minds and connect more.
“With reading, you can really get into the minds of the kids, they share so much more with the reading,” said Sharpe. “They don’t have as many opportunities in math to share their experiences, so that’s been fun to see.”
Sharpe received a degree in elementary education from Tennessee Technological University, but she didn’t always want to teach. However, in high school she started working with children through church programs which ignited her interest in that career. Attending magnet schools also instilled a sense of importance in education.
West is special, she said, because of the connection teachers have with each other as well as the connections they make with their students.
“Everybody’s on the same page about putting the kids first,” she said.
Sharpe also said building relationships with students is important because the more they trust their teacher, the more comfortable they can be at school, creating a better learning environment.
“It clicked one day that I love kids, I love learning, I want to do that for kids,” she said. “I want to give them that chance to love learning too.”
Sharpe wants to show her students the importance of an education and believes that teaching them is a chance to make the world a better place.
If they love what they are learning and experiencing now, she hopes they will love it as they continue to get older.
Sharpe said she was shocked but excited to be named West Elementary’s Teacher of the Year.
“It was a huge honor to have been chosen from such a great pool of people here,” Sharpe said. “There were so many other people that could’ve won that are great teachers.”