Brittany Morris listens to students, builds enthusiasm for learning

MADISON – Brittany Morris believes if students know you love them and have high expectations for them, they will always rise to the occasion. Morris is 2022 “Teacher of the Year” at Horizon Elementary School.

“I believe in relationships first and foremost,” Morris said. “I love my students as if they’re my own. We refer to ourselves as ‘The Morris Family,’ and we always have each others’ backs.”

She graduated from Athens State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. “It was a wonderful education,” the Cocoa, Fla. native said.

In her first assignment with Madison City Schools, Morris started working at Rainbow Elementary School as a paraprofessional in January 2011. “I worked with students in an inclusion setting. I worked from first grade through third grade as a paraprofessional before being hired at Horizon in the 2013-2014 school year,” she said.

At Horizon, Morris has taught third-graders and fifth-graders in English Language Acquisition or ELA. Currently, she is Assistant Director for Horizon’s Extended Day program. “I also was the third-grade virtual teacher last year during our ‘COVID year,’” Morris said.

During the constraints that COVID-19 imposed, Morris, like most other teachers, worked diligently to keep her students engaged and attentive to virtual lessons. “As you can imagine, the instructional gaps were definitely large this year,” she said. “We worked extremely hard to end the year either performing at or above grade level in reading.”

“I also frequently had students share their passions and teach the class how to do things they enjoyed doing. I believe that students who buy in to their own learning will always grow,” Morris said.

Some day in the future, Morris wants to work in publishing. “If I decide to go back to school, it would be for a master’s degree in English. I actually review books on my Instagram,” she said.

With any spare time away from the classroom, Morris likely is busy with reading a book, cooking, building LEGO structures and working on puzzles. “I also love taking care of animals,” she said. Her love for animals was obvious when she ‘made friends’ with a llama during her class’ field trip to Cozy Cove Farms, which also raises alpacas.

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