Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Teaching children numbers like 1, 2, 3 is important but one Midlands teacher will tell you that if you're teaching without T.L.C. you're doing it wrong.
It's a lesson that goes beyond words. One that Sharon Fleming, a 2nd grade teacher at Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary, believes all children should be taught that they are loved.
"I wanted the children in my classroom to feel like they could accomplish anything they wanted to," explained Fleming. "I wanted them to feel accepted for who they were."
"I want these boys and girls to really feel good about who they are and what they can accomplish because they are going to be our leaders someday."
Fleming has a wide spectrum of learners in her classroom filled with different personalities. From sweet and shy to outgoing, Miss Fleming sees potential in all her students.
"We all come to the table with many strengths and weaknesses so I wanted students to really focus in on what they did well and just really feel good about themselves as a student, as a learner and as a person in our society."
With more than fourteen years of experience, Fleming knows what her goals are as a teacher.
"I really just want children to want more so I try to take their interests and what they do every day and turn it into a lesson or life lesson to help them as they continue."
That includes teaching outside the box and on having the students learn some lessons on top of big bouncy balls. Fleming says studies show this can help students focus and it's also good for their core.
Fleming's students use words like "fun", "kind" and "patient" to describe her which is why she is News19's Golden Apple Award winner of the week.
"When they come to me and say, 'Miss Fleming I really got it! I got it!' Just the spark I see in their eyes or when they come to me and want more. That's my purpose, that's my heart."
If you know a teacher who deserves the honor, you can visit any Midlands BI-LO store, pick up a Golden Apple Nomination form and tell us why you think your favorite teacher deserves the honor.