Franklin County teacher uses experience to teach perseverance in classroom
FRANKLIN CO., Va. (WDBJ) - Jennifer Hatch is a seventh-grade math teacher at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Rocky Mount. She’s gotten several awards this year for her work in the classroom. Most recently, she was honored with the 2024 Regional Teacher of the Year award.
While math is her expertise, she’ll be the first to tell you, agriculture, not so much. However, she had an idea to start growing things in her classroom, to get her kids excited about math; and it worked. The inspiration came from a personal experience.
“COVID affected me. What I lost was security. Going to the grocery store, not knowing, would what I need be there? That shook me. I need to become self-sufficient. I need to be able to not be dependent on my food coming from another country to here, to here, to here, when I live in Franklin County where food is grown. I need to be supporting my local farmers,” Hatch explained.
She also wanted to learn how to grow things for herself.
“When I was thinking, what do I need to do to interest these students, I thought I can give them ownership, I can give them self-sufficiency, I can give them perseverance, I can give them problem-solving, all with one fun thing. It’s really important to me that these children believe in themselves,” Hatch said.
She continued to say there are three things she learned from her students during this project: to not be afraid to try something, to not be afraid to ask for help, and we can each do better and be better.
“If we all will just strive every day to just do something better, then we will be a better school and a better town,” Hatch said.
Ms. Hatch will represent Franklin County as one of eight teachers in the running for the 2024 Virginia Teacher of the Year award.
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