TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Michelle Fisackerly reimagines the process of teaching History

Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 9, 2022

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.

Michelle Fisackerly works to reinvent how she teaches her students history with other outlets. Fisackerly, a teacher at River City Early College, said she helps her students understand history by providing real experiences. 

“It makes teaching so much easier when you give your students something tangible to see and hear,” Fisackerly said. 

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Fisaskerly is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year award. The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon, which has been rescheduled to Mar. 1. 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. 

Fisackerly began teaching in 2002 as a 5th-grade math teacher and 7th-grade science teacher at West Bolivar Middle School in Rosedale, Miss. In 2006, she began teaching at Vicksburg High School in U.S. history, world history, world geography, economics, and government. Starting in 2016, Fisaskerly began teaching at River City Early College for world history, U.S. history and leadership. She is also the sponsor of the Gaming Club and National Honor Society.

In 2001, Fisackerly received a Bachelor of Science in Education for elementary education at Delta State University. Then, in 2004, she received a Master of Education in social science education from Delta State University. 

“Showing them a virtual tour, having a special guest speaker or taking a field trip could flip a switch for them,” Fiaskerly said in regard to her teaching strategy. 

As stated in her Educator of the Year application, she builds these tangible connections by visiting the Civil Rights Museum during the days the Civil Rights Activists are giving tours, or meeting Silas House, author of “Eli the Great,” and having the chance to ask questions about the book. 

“It allows students to have an ‘Aha’ moment, and they then can understand the topic so much better,” she said.