Teacher says job is a calling

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lakeshia Perkins wears the fact that she truly cares for her students on her sleeve, and as their teacher, is proud to have a part in their journey through life.

Perkins is a kindergarten teacher at Warrenton Elementary school.

“I love what I’m doing,” Perkins said. “I feel like it’s a calling rather than just a job. I truly love what I do. I take it seriously. I don’t take it lightly at all. Just like I expect them to do their best, I expect myself to give them my best.”

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Perkins has been a teacher for 17 years, and nine of those years have been spent as a kindergarten teacher at Warrenton.

Her first eight years were spent mostly as a first and second grade teacher at A.W. Watson in Port Gibson.

Perkins always wanted to be a teacher, and she followed that dream without hesitation. She spent her first semester in fourth grade, but really found her niche with first and second grade.

Perkins didn’t think she would ever teach kindergarten because she was so content in first and second grade, but she quickly changed her mind once she started working with the younger children.

“This is my love. This is really, really where I think I was meant to be,” she said.

She appreciates each of her 18 children and feels a strong sense of affection for them.

Perkins spends class time teaching her students basic foundational skills they can build on throughout their educational career, especially reading and writing.

One reason she fell for the kindergarten age group is because she could really track the students’ growth over the year they were in her classroom.

Because there is so much for the students to learn in their first year of school, she feels like the children’s progress is more noticeable. While in her class, students have gone from not knowing how to hold a pencil to reading.

“I saw more growth. I saw that end result. It was more thrilling, I think, to me than even for the children. It was just something to see them reach their destiny. Coming in to see what I could offer them, how I could impact them within one year, that was a gift,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest reward for me.”

The Forest native attended Scott Central High School and Alcorn State University, where she earned her degree in elementary education. She is the youngest in a family of 10 children.

Her husband, Lamond, is also from Scott County. They have two children, Destiny, a fifth grader at Warrenton, and Keshaun, an eighth grader at Vicksburg Junior High School.