BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Penny Reynolds has taught every level of student, from elementary to college. Her love of students and her ability to give them confidence even with difficult problems makes her this week’s Educator of the Week.

“I like to teach because I feel we can empower children to do great things,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds has been doing that very thing for the past quarter of a century. She’s spent 10 years at Bluff City Elementary, where she currently teaches English and Language Arts.

“Third grade is a hard year for kids,” Reynolds said. “They are going from learning how to read, to reading to learn and so that is really what I’m trying to do is help them see who they are as a learner and gain independence as a learner.”

According to Reynolds, the secret to her success lies beyond the books. Her ability to connect with each of her students as individuals is what keeps her love of teaching strong.

“She comes in and begins building those relationships,” said Bluff City Elementary Principal Hank Hare. “It makes the transition from second to third grade really smooth.”

To Reynolds, building confidence in her students is paramount.

“I’ve taped ‘Persevere’ on the wall,” she said. “That’s the theme for our school year. When things get hard, you just keep trying.”

If there’s an educator you would like to nominate for our weekly feature, you can do so by clicking here.