Each year, News 8 celebrates the teachers making a difference in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. The five "My Favorite Teacher" honorees we salute in 2019 were nominated by students, selected by last year's teacher winners, and awarded with a gift card and other items given by Blackhawk Bank and Trust.
MONMOUTH, Illinois--Miss Taylor Woods is a new teacher at Harding Primary School in Monmouth, Illinois, and she already sees eye to eye with her students. She knows math is a whole lot more fun for her third graders when it turns into a game.
"Everyday is an adventure. We've got to keep it interesting," says Woods.
Student Reese Anderson is keeping things interesting too, but this time, it's not a game. She wants Miss Woods to know exactly how she feels.
"Miss Woods, you are my favorite teacher!" says Reese. "Miss Woods is the best because she has fun ideas."
Miss Woods' creativity is just one of the factors that lands her the title, "My Favorite Teacher." Ask Reese.
"Some of her ideas have been Harding hospital, mystery reader and community service projects," explains Reese.
Every month, Miss Woods' class does a different project to give back.
"October, we collected socks, donated them to students in our district in need as well as the Jameson Center. We did hats, coats and gloves," says Woods
Students help collect, sort, give and learn something too.
"The one we're doing right now is Pop Tab-pallooza, and I learned pop tabs are actually worth money," says Reese.
"I'm not creating mathematicians and readers and writers. I'm creating citizens," says Woods. "I want to send them out in the world knowing how they can contribute and how to make the world a better place."
You make this room a better place to learn, Miss Woods, by never losing sight of what's most important.
"I promise to prepare them the best I can to be successful humans," says Woods.
In her first year teaching in Monmouth, Woods coaches volleyball and basketball. She's also a Monmouth alumnus which, she says makes her job that much more meaningful.