Teacher Spotlight: Melissa Turner
Congratulations to Ms. Melissa Turner of Mountain Gap P-8, selected as this week’s Teacher Spotlight recipient!Ms. Turner first discovered that she wanted to be an educator when she was attending Weatherly Heights Elementary in the fifth grade. Her teacher at the time, Ms. Sams, was very loving and supportive. Ms. Turner says, “she made you feel like you made her day just by showing up at school.” That is something Ms. Turner decided she also wanted to do for others, and so she pursued a career in education.
“Ms. Turner is amazing,” remarks Mt. Gap Principal Heather Bardwell, who goes on to say that she is selfless and stands out as one of those remarkable educators that go above and beyond for her students. Ms. Turner works with all the students at Mountain Gap P-8, from Pre-K to eighth grade, and says that it can be “pretty crazy, but it’s very rewarding because you get to see all aspects of a child.” Second-grade student Gary Mingo says that Ms. Turner is “a great teacher,” adding that she tells the best stories. “She’s understanding, and she listens to the kids like she would any other person,” states eighth grade student Lunden Rhodes.
When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Turner enjoys being outside and taking walks with her husband, two boys, and their slightly crazy dog Elwood. She also enjoys hiking and coaching soccer.
When it comes to literature, she says that her favorite books are those where each chapter is written from someone else’s perspective. Ms. Turner says, “I really believe in seeking to understand instead of being in your own closed world.” She actively employs this philosophy with her students, adding that “the most important thing is to be a listener and get to know them.”
Ms. Turner says she tries to encourage students to be vulnerable, adding that “it’s kind of scary sometimes, but it helps you learn about others and be open to things.” Thankfully, the love and devotion she shows her students every day makes the library at Mt. Gap P-8 a place where students feel safe enough to do just that.