HAMPTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — This week’s Educator of the Week, Erin Ragan, is a 19-year veteran in the classroom and has spent the past seven of those years at Hampton Elementary School.

It starts with Ragan’s childhood, as the daughter of a teacher, she watched the influence her mother had in the classroom. Now, it’s her turn to make a lifelong impact on her students.

“I feel honoring the children and my own children keeps me motivated. I try to keep that in mind when I’m dealing with the children every year,” Ragan said.

Ragan is a 3rd grade teacher at Hampton Elementary.  She teaches English and language arts to 51 students per day.

“[Students] are still young enough where you can have fun with them and kind of joke around with them, but at the same time, they are independent. They can kind of work on their own and understand what their expectations are,” Ragan said.

Those expectations increased in 2022 with the new 3rd-grade retention law in Tennessee.  But in those tough times, Ragan shined the brightest.

“When [the law] came down that relationship was very, very key. The parents knew she was going to do what’s best for [their] kid and that’s all that we can ask for a teacher,” said Jake Jenkins, Hampton Elementary Principal.

A commitment that’s continuing as a new school year begins.

“I try to treat them like they are my own children and the way I want someone to treat them,” Ragan said.

Congratulations to this week’s Educator of the Week, Erin Ragan.

To nominate an educator, click here.