TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Charlsie Godshaw keeps students engaged in the learning process

Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 15, 2023

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. 

Charlsie Godshaw, a teacher at Beechwood Elementary School, said that she “believes every student should be actively engaged and involved in the learning process because that is when learning becomes the most meaningful.”

Godshaw 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 on Feb. 15. 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. 

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Godshaw started as a teacher’s assistant for kindergarten and first grade at Oak Grove Primary School in Hattiesburg in 2006. Then in 2015, she taught at South Perry Elementary School in Beaumont. In 2018, she was a fourth-grade teacher at Petal Elementary School in Petal. Godshaw then moved to Sherman Avenue Elementary School in 2020 as a second-grade teacher. Starting in 2022, she began teaching at Beechwood Elementary as a third-grade teacher. 

Godshaw received her associate in arts in the program transfer toward elementary education at Meridian Community College in 2004. Then she obtained her bachelor of science in elementary education in 2012 at William Cary University. 

“I begin every lesson with stating the focus standard in student-friendly terms, so they understand their purpose for learning,” Godshaw said in her Educator of the Year application.

Her lessons also include fun activities that help with student engagement such as anchor charts, interactive journals, mentor tests or educational videos.

“Once they have been exposed to the content through modeling, collaboration and independent practice they are able to take charge in classroom discussions,” Godshaw said.

To help with her students’ learning processes, Godshaw takes the opportunity to find material that is relevant to each lesson.

“Anytime I see an opportunity to foster their curiosity, I like to find relevant materials that connect them to the world around them,” she said.

While teaching her lessons, she encourages students to collaborate and work together to overcome obstacles and any struggles they might face when learning. When overcoming those challenges, Godshaw said she will show her students how she faces her problems.

“Sometimes that may be taking a step back and rereading or working a problem, or using technology to assist me. No matter how I overcome my problem it is important for students to understand how to self-advocate for themselves,” she said.