Ms. Bates has been a teacher for 11 years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I decided to become a teacher to help make a difference in the lives of children. Growing up, I always loved kids and had a passion for teaching. I was the student in high school who loved being the teacher’s assistant. After many discussions with my meme, I knew being an educator was my calling.

What is a goal of yours as a teacher?
My primary goal as a teacher is to prepare students for their future through academic and social skills. I work hard to meet the needs of each child through their individualized data. I make strong connections with students and parents. When you create a solid connection with a child, they will work harder to reach their full potential.

What would be something surprising about you that students would find interesting?
I am a PRO at The Michael Jackson Experience on the Wii. I use this for my daily exercise and can get five stars on Thriller Inhuman mode. Also, I can easily put IKEA furniture together.

What is your most embarrassing moment as a teacher?
When I first started teaching I had to do multiple observations. I would get very nervous. My dad blessed me with palmar hyperhidrosis, which causes my hands to sweat really bad. I was using the overhead projector and teaching a writing lesson. My hands were so sweaty it was smearing the ink and the kids could not read my mottled writing. It was so embarrassing, but we all laughed through it.

What is your favorite quote?
Never give up! My mom always encouraged me to keep pushing even when times get hard. I tell my students the same saying and we refer to it throughout the school year.

What would you like to see changed in our schools?
I think there should be more mental health counseling and support for students who struggle with their lives. So many times our school counselors are pulled in so many directions that they can’t juggle the load of what their passion and purpose is at a school. Now more than ever we need to help children and get them prepared not only academically but mentally ready for life.

Riverview/Apollo Beach Teacher of the Month is sponsored by Mathnasium of Riverview