WITN’S Teacher of the Week: Tracey Tate of EJ Hayes Elementary School

MARTIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - WITN's Teacher of the Week for September 26 is Tracey Tate of EJ Hayes Elementary Schoo in Williamston in Martin County.

Tate is in her 15th year of teaching; she teaches 5th grade English-Language Arts. She is a graduate of North Greenville University in Tigerville, SC, with a Bachelors of the Arts degree in Elementary Education. She has taught all core subjects in grades two through six.

Originally from Myrtle Beach, SC, Tate grew up helping her mother (who’s also a teacher) with her classroom responsibilities, and working in the service industry. She says these two things helped her discern that Elementary Education is her calling in life.

Tate writes, “I truly believe that all people, no matter their circumstances, can learn. They just need to know they have a caring, safe environment in which to do their learning. So, daily I greet my students at the classroom door with a smile and by telling them, ‘I'm glad you are here today.’ I also spend a great deal of time on getting to know my students. They do not care how much I know; they are more concerned with how much I care.”

Tate says she has a strong passion for reading and takes time daily to share a story with her students. “Books open worlds these children may never experience any other way. I want them to love reading because it is a very vital life skill, and I have found no better way than by inundating them with all types of books,” Tate writes.

Tate is married to her husband, Jason, whom she calls her best friend. They have two children: Tyler, 11 and Bethany, 6. She says the family enjoys spending time together, traveling and working with the youth in their church.

The person who nominated Tate wrote: “Mrs. Tate is an AMAZING teacher and coworker. She encourages her class and fellow teachers daily. She is constantly looking for new ways to reach children that may be struggling in some aspect of their classwork and never makes them feel any less than scholars when they are in her care. When cursive writing was taken out of the curriculum, she added it as ‘morning work’ to assure her students learned the very valuable tool. She sets high expectations at the beginning of each school year and works hard to help each child reach their goals. Her hard work, love of her classroom and children deserve some recognition.”

Congratulations Mrs. Tate!

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 Walmart gift card. To nominate your teacher, email TOTW@witn.com.