It is such an amazing honor to be selected as the Cecil S. Collins School Teacher of the Year. From the time I was a child, becoming an elementary school teacher was my dream. Having the opportunity to go in each day to a job I love, and make an impact on a child’s life is all I have ever wanted. I began teaching in Barnegat in 2017. Through my years, I have taught many lessons to my students, but the truth is they have also taught me many things. Here are the top 3 lessons I have learned: #1. Building relationships with your students is the most important step to forming your classroom family. A classroom family where everyone feels loved and respected. #2. Success looks different for each individual child, and success should be celebrated no matter how small it may be. #3. Everyday is a fresh start, and a new beginning. As teachers we have our good days, and we have our not so good ones, but each day we are given a chance to try again. How lucky are we to have the chance to leave lasting imprints on the minds and hearts of these young children? To say the last 2 years of teaching during a pandemic have been challenging would be an understatement, but as educators we have still continued to impact the lives of our students each day. We have risen above the challenges and persevered for the most important thing in our profession; our students. I have never been more proud to be a teacher than I am at this very moment, and look forward to many more years of sharing my love of learning with my students.