AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - One educator in Auburn is devoted to filling up the hearts of children with genuine love, building their confidence with constant encouragement and challenging their minds with high expectations. Her name is Laura Collard.
Collard's desire for helping others began long before she even stepped foot in a classroom.
"And from a small age I could remember playing school in my room. I'd make up work and purposely get stuff wrong so I could go back, act like a teacher and mark it wrong or help a stuffed animal in my room. I just feel like it has been in my blood, both working with kids and helping others," Collard said.
From the beginning of her teaching career, Collard has wholeheartedly thrown all of her time and energy into her kiddos. She knows the first step to success is to form a bond with your students.
"I think that is important; as a teacher, it's (your job) to establish that relationship with your kids that you love them and that you care about them, and when they know that I think they work better for you in the classroom - they want to do for you because they know you care, and hopefully that caring that I show them carries over into their work and they start to believe in themselves," Collard said.
After years at Wrights Mill Road Elementary School and almost two decades as a teacher total, Collard has figured out there will be some bumps along the way. Even when things get tough for her third graders, they know their teacher will always be there for them. She is their biggest supporter and cheerleader!
"I think learning can be fun! It wasn't like that when I grew up. It was hard and it was a struggle for me, so I just remember when I am teaching I want to make it easier and fun. That way when it gets hard, it's okay - you know your teacher loves you and she believes in you, and we will get through it together," Collard said.