DECATUR – Brooke Morgan believes a good teacher is someone who makes learning fun.
With that message, she hopes to inspire her students each day.
"I wanted to be that teacher," said Morgan, who teaches first grade at Newton County Elementary. "I wanted to be able to come and teach kids things, as they are taking ownership of their learning."
For her dedication to her craft, Morgan was named the Golden Apple Teacher for December during a surprise ceremony at the school on Dec. 10.
"It feels awesome to be recognized," she said. "I was excited and I was also shocked and very honored."
Morgan graduated from Newton County High School in 2011, then earned degrees from both William Carey University and Mississippi College.
Newton County Elementary first grade teacher Brooke Morgan, the Golden Apple Teacher for December, helps Bennett Hollingswoth in class.
She's been teaching for the last five years, which includes three years teaching kindergarten and one year on the secondary level.
Morgan, who fell in love with the profession while doing her student teaching, said she likes how she can build more meaningful relationships with younger students by teaching them life skills.
"I can't control what goes on at their house," she said. "But I can control how they are treated in my room."
She also enjoys helping students reach their potential by challenging them.
A nomination letter from a faculty member describes Morgan as a teacher who makes learning fun for her students.
The writer said Morgan often goes out of her way to help her students. For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools in March, she would drive to her students' home to deliver their lessons, books, and inspirational messages.
A nomination letter from a parent credited Morgan for focusing on one-one-time with her students.
"I had to nominate her," the letter reads. "This teacher took that extra time to make my child feel special. She stayed on the phone with her and talked about everything-most wasn't school-related. My child had been feeling very sad and anxious about school closing."
Morgan said teaching at the school she attended helps build relationships with parents and teachers in the community.
"I love being in the school that I grew up and invested in me, because you're giving back to the thing that built you," she said. "Once you get rooted in the district, you get to build relationships with parents, and that is huge."