TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Melanie K. Corbin loves seeing ‘the light of learning come on in a child’

Published 7:33 pm Monday, February 5, 2024

Melanie K. Corbin is a first-grade teacher at Porter’s Chapel Academy. Corbin has been teaching since 1992.

Corbin is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce 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. 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.

Corbin said she believes one of her key missions as a teacher is to instill the art of communication in her students.

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“When we talk to each other, we can solve problems and explain how we got to that solution, whether it be a problem in math, language or life,” Corbin explained. “I find that students accept and understand advice and guidance from their peers much better than they might from a lecture from a teacher.”

When asked about student achievement and what strategies she might use to boost student achievement, Corbin said she uses whiteboards in both math and reading for a fast-paced, actively engaged classroom.

This strategy also gives the teacher instant feedback as to which students are where they need to be and which are struggling.

“I have a student who was struggling with letter recognition and I found that he was a tactile learner so letter tiles helped him immensely, ” Corbin said. “He came knowing nothing about letter-sound recognition, and now he is so proud to be able to read words. It is so neat to see the light of learning come on in a child, particularly this young man.”

And as for her most moving education experience, Corbin said that is thanks to her current school.

“My most moving educational experience thus far has been my move to Porter’s Chapel Academy,” she said. “Being able to talk to students about Christ and to openly pray for and with them has been a breath of fresh air and it is so rewarding.”

When asked why she teaches, she smiled and said, “I need the kids to keep me young.”