Teacher of the Year: Precious Ivy says students retain more when they have fun

Published 11:33 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

Precious Ivy teaches first grade at Sherman Avenue Elementary.

She believes that when you teach students in fun and engaging ways they retain more than they might learn in a quiet learning environment.

Ivy 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 in February 2024. 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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Ivy started teaching in 2022 after she received her degree in elementary education from Mississippi State University.

When asked how she ensures her students are connected with the world, she answered, “Each week we have an academic vocabulary to go with our reading curriculum and teachers are trained to connect these words to the students’ real, everyday environment. This way, when they see the word, they not only think of their reading assignment, but of other ways that word is connected in the world around them.”

Ivy said she believes in getting students involved.

“Student achievement in my classroom involves engagement,” Ivy explained. “We are always up and moving in my class. I have students come up to the front of the room and model whatever skill we are learning at that moment. Other times they come to
me to talk out problems they are having with the skills they are working on. I feel that students who are actively engaged in discussions in class achieve more when it is time for them to do independent work.”

When asked about her most moving educational experience, she said, “Helping one of my lower academic students, who is extremely quiet, find her voice. She is growing academically now and is more outgoing in the classroom.”

So, why does Ivy say she became a teacher?

“When people ask me why I teach, I tell them I am investing in not only my students’ future, but the world’s future,” she said.