Congratulations to our Wiregrass Parents Teacher of the Month for March, Rinda Brannon, a dedicated kindergarten teacher at Cottonwood Elementary who has been an educator for nine years. Her entire life has revolved around children, and her passion for teaching shines through her work in the classroom.
Cristie Sanders, who nominated her for the award, remarked,
“Mrs. Brannon has a love for children that is unmatched. This passion transpires through her work in the classroom but also in her love for her family. I am blessed to have her as a part of my life.”
Rinda’s inspiration to become a teacher came from a group of teachers she worked with years ago. She enjoyed listening to their stories, and they inspired her with their ability to turn challenging situations into meaningful learning experiences. Now, Rinda is proud to work alongside one of those educators who inspired her to become a teacher.
One of the things that Rinda enjoys most about teaching kindergarten children is watching their faces light up when they learn something new. She loves the hugs and love she feels from each of her students and the fact that they depend on her to take care of them like a parent would. For Rinda, it is a joy to see her students progress from the beginning of the year to the end, especially when she listens to them read.
To engage her students in the classroom, Rinda uses a variety of methods, including technology and hands-on projects. She finds that when students learn by doing, it stays with them for life. One example she provided was taking her students on regular tours of the school grounds to collect leaves from each season. They took pictures of the trees and watched for changes, and the students had a lot of fun doing this activity.
However, teaching is not without its challenges, and Rinda faces several. One of the biggest challenges she faces is knowing that some of her students may not get another meal at night. Many of them can’t wait to get to school to eat breakfast and lunch, and Rinda takes that fear home with her every night. She also deals with behavioral issues, but she has found that these issues are usually resolved once the students understand that she cares about them and that they can trust her. Another challenge is that some of the children have speech problems, and with COVID entering into the picture over the past few years, children were not able to interact with other children.
To support student success, Rinda collaborates with other teachers and staff to discuss student progress and come up with new strategies to help them become their best. However, academics are not the only things they teach; they also teach life skills such as how to behave, how to talk to one another, how to share, and how to show sympathy and empathy towards others. They also support students by attending their ball games and dance recitals.
Finally, Rinda encourages a love of learning and a passion for education in her students by making learning fun and adventurous. She uses hands-on, creative, and interactive ways to engage her students in real-life learning skills. Sometimes, she has to forget that she is an adult and do things to draw attention to what she is teaching. In kindergarten, they have to sing, dance, and play while they learn.
Rinda Brannon is a remarkable teacher in our area who has dedicated her life to educating children. Her love for her students and her passion for teaching shines through in everything she does. Congratulations to Rinda Brannon, Wiregrass Parents Teacher of the Month!