Williams is both a teacher and a coach for her students
This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for teacher of the year honors.
Monica Williams has been a coach of a cheerleading team, a dance team and president of a mime team; yes, a mime team. It is that competition that makes you understand her philosophy in her role as a teacher.
“I teach because I have a responsibility to make all children become champions,” Williams said.
Williams, today a sixth-grade English language arts and social studies teacher at Vicksburg Intermediate School, is one of the educators nominated for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year awards.
The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 25. 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.
In her 17th year of teaching, Williams has taught not only in the Vicksburg Warren School District at Vicksburg Intermediate, Vicksburg Junior High and Beechwood Elementary, but she has also taught at Write Elementary in Tallulah, La. and worked as a speech therapist for the Claiborne County School District for grades first through 12th.
She received a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge and an education certification from Alcorn State. And she is currently working on her master’s in curriculum and instruction at Mississippi College.
“Learning starts with establishing a strong foundation that gives students the confidence and capability to achieve success as difficulty increases,” Williams wrote in her Teacher of the Year application. “I engage my students with learning activities that generate and maintain interest, appeal to various learning styles, incorporate different formats … and foster cooperative learning.
“These methods,” she writes, “influence my students to have a more positive attitude towards reading, listening and speaking which facilitates academic growth.”
In addition to teaching, Williams lists her two years as president of Vicksburg Junior High’s mime team, her four years as the school’s cheerleading team coach, two years as Vicksburg Intermediate’s dance team coach, among others.
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