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Teacher of the Week: Iyesha Chin Phillips from North Pitt High School

WITN’s Teacher of the Week for October 7 is Iyesha Chin Phillips, a special education teacher at North Pitt High School.
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 7:26 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2020 at 9:25 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - WITN’s Teacher of the Week for October 7 is Iyesha Chin Phillips, a special education teacher at North Pitt High School.

Phillips says she didn’t always think she would end up teaching, but believes it was a calling from God. She attended ECU and says she tried to get into the marriage and therapy program there, but was not accepted. That rejection led her to Teach For America, which landed Phillips her first teaching career. She began teaching at Conway Middle School in Murfreesboro before heading to North Pitt High School.

Looking back, Phillips says “God knew exactly what I needed and where I needed to be.” Now, she says she couldn’t picture herself doing anything else besides teaching.

Phillips says her job is not just to be a teacher, but also to be a counselor, mother, administrator, nurturer and friend. She says she loves teaching because it is all encompassing and “once you build bonds with your students, you love them for life.”

In the classroom, Phillips prides herself on building relationships with her students, while also helping them reach their IEP goals in a structured, engaging way. She says she often plays games with her students and also discusses life lessons to build skills in reading and math.

The person who nominated Mrs. Phillips wrote, "'I’ve known Iyesha since she started her teaching career four years ago. She was given the wonderful opportunity of teaching at North Pitt High School right after she graduated from ECU.

I am nominating Iyesha Phillips because her passion and heart for her students show even outside of her classroom. When she speaks about her day and how they are succeeding or had a good day, you can hear the love in her voice. When she feels like a student can be doing better because it’s in them to do so, you can hear the love. When she cries at graduation because she has seen tremendous growth in her student over the years, you can see the love. And her students love her just as much. It’s “funny” how you can have a 4 foot something teacher get so much respect, honesty and love from students who mostly tower over her. But they are able to do so because she deals with them in the same manner.

Iyesha, like every other teacher, has to battle with society, home life and more. She creates a safe space in her classroom where the student feels like they don’t have to just reach for the stars, but they can go ahead and grab them.

Because of her caring spirit and genuine joy for teaching, I nominate Iyesha Phillips for WITN’s Teacher of the Week."

Congratulations, Mrs. Phillips!

Every week during the school year WITN will recognize a Teacher of the Week on WITN News at Sunrise. The winner receives a plaque and $100 gift card for school supplies.

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