ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Julie Atkins knows exactly when she decided to become a teacher.
She was in the second grade at Hawkins County Elementary School with Devonia Cochrane when she decided to be a teacher. She continues to let Ms. Cochrane know what an influence she was back then and continues to be today.
Atkins is the first-grade teacher at Rogersville City School. She’s been there for the past three years.
She started her teaching career in Hamblen County seven years ago. She taught Kindergarten for one year but knew even then she wanted to get back to first graders.
Akins says she continues to work on improving virtual learning, but nothing compares to having her students in the classroom. The growth her students make throughout the year is incredible, she says.
Whether it’s online or in the classroom, Atkins says nothing beats the look in her students’ eyes when they finally accomplish a goal.
“Those kids, especially the ones that come in and say ‘I can’t do it. I can’t do this.’ Keep encouraging them and then when they finally are able, their face immediately lights up and you just want to say ‘I told you you could do it the whole time, you just have to trust yourself,'” said Atkins.
Atkins adds it’s also rewarding to be able to teach in the same town she grew up in and is already seeing familiar friends and family’s faces in her classroom.
Congratulations to Julie Atkins, this week’s Educator of the Week.
To nominate an educator for our Educator of the Week, click here.