This week's WITN Teacher of the Week is Helen Bitalas, a third grade teacher from Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy in Windsor in Bertie County.
In addition to the 52 students in her math class, Bitalas also offers tutoring three days a week for students who need additional support.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and a degree in Agricultural Economics from the Philippines.
Prior to receiving the opportunity to teach full time, she never really considered teaching as a profession.
"Now, I cannot imagine my life without teaching," Bitalas said. "Teaching is holding the hand of a scholar and telling them it is going to be OK, and that I will always be there to help them."
Aside from fishing during the summer, Bitalas spends most of her free time grading papers and making lesson plans.
Her students affectionately refer to this first-year teacher as “Ms. B.” She says she loves the little notes her students write to her that she finds as she checks their work.
Bitalas is originally from the Philippines and came to the U.S. nearly 10 years ago.
The person who nominated her wrote: “She is my son's math teacher and is always excited when talking to us about my son. My son is autistic and ‘Ms. B’ gives him some one-on-one instruction and has given us web sites to help him. She seems to have patience with all the kids and obviously cares about their education and growth. We really appreciate all her dedication to the children.”