HCS Changemaker: Ms. Elizabeth Hughes
Congratulations to Ms. Elizabeth Hughes, a second-grade teacher at Montview Elementary School, who has been selected as an HCS Changemaker!Ms. Hughes says that being a teacher is something of a family business, which included her grandmother and most of her aunts on the paternal side of the family. The fourth-year teacher says, “I have known my whole life that teaching was my calling.” She enjoys coming in every morning and getting to share love with her students, which often means beginning each day with a hug, high-five, or fist bump.
“She is that teacher that always has something interesting going on that the students are excited about,” says Montview Elementary Principal Marcia Sutton, “she is a go-getter, she has energy, and she goes the extra mile.” In addition to her duties in the classroom, Ms. Hughes has also taken on the role of the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS) Coach. Principal Sutton says that Ms. Hughes has “breathed new life into the meaning of the celebration.” Ms. Hughes gets to know each of her students as an individual, can tell you what is going on with their learning, knows what they are interested in, and the students recognize how vested she is in their learning and their lives.
If one were to enter Ms. Hughes’s classroom expecting a silent place with rows of students listening to a lecture, they might be disappointed. More often, the students are working in groups or pairs as they sit on the carpet solving math problems or reading together. She makes her lessons visual and tactile, and in that way encourages true comprehension regardless of learning styles. According to second-grade student Juliana Walls, “it’s fun [and] we learn lots of great stuff.”
The relationships Ms. Hughes builds with her students helps to build a solid foundation on which she skillfully utilizes engaging lessons that grow them every day. That daily growth has a profound impact on their academic and social success and makes Ms. Hughes an invaluable agent of change in their lives.