Booth working to ‘plant a seed’ of knowledge

Published 7:18 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Part of an ongoing series featuring the teachers nominated for Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year honors.

Science can be hard for students to grasp, so Diane Booth is working to take the challenging topics and explain them using real world scenarios.

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When they are talking about cells, Booth breaks them down by relating the different working parts to how a city functions. When the topic is the Earth the examples may come from the classroom. No matter the topic, her goal is to make the subject matter come to life for her students.

“Science is a lot of reading and I try to use everyday scenarios,” Booth said. “We use a lot of technology and I use a lot of hands on so they can understand what we are doing. Because it is reading and reading for seventh graders is boring, we have to find things that we can do hands on to help them get into what we are reading and understand what we are talking about.”

Booth is a seventh grade science teacher at Vicksburg Junior High and is her school’s nominee for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.

“It is a very good feeling,” Booth said of being nominated. “It makes me feel that my peers see me as an individual who is trying to improve our children and gain more knowledge.”

Booth has been teaching at VJHS since 2006 after graduating from the University of Phoenix with a degree in business management. She also has her Masters of Business Administration and a masters in education.

Teaching was not her initial plan, but she eventually gave in and entered the field.

“I fought teaching for years,” Booth said. “I did not want to be a teacher because all of my family are educators. One day, the opportunity came and I stepped into it and I love it.”

Booth said her goal as a teacher is to “open the door of their mind and plant a seed to help them become a stronger individual.”

“Seeing student’s expression when they learn something and the light goes on,” Booth said of her favorite part about teaching. “If it is something that they thought they couldn’t get, seeing them getting excited about something they learn.”

When she sees the students finally understand the topics they are covering and the light bulb goes off, Booth said she makes sure to praise them and let them know she is proud of what they have accomplished.

“A day when we have a lesson that everyone tries to get into, that every one gains some understanding of the lesson and gives their input,” Booth said of how she defines a successful day in her classroom.

The Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will choose one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon Feb. 21. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

“That would be an accomplishment,” Booth said of her reaction if she won the award. “I am a modest person. I get excited, but I like to stay in the background. To think that what I’m doing or what I’ve done inspired someone, it make me feel I’ve accomplished something.”