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Waynesville teacher’s emotions speak volumes about her passion for the job

Photo credit: WLOS

Hazelwood Elementary teacher Elizabeth Rogers gets tearful talking about her role in the lives of her third-graders. In this week’s Thanks to Teachers, she gave us a revealing look at her passion for her profession.

Rogers is the mother of 2-year-old twins and has another child on the way. Her classroom's an extension of her maternal instinct.

"Probably the best part I think about teaching is seeing them finally get it when they've struggled and they've cried with me, and I've cried with them, and we've been mad and then we've been happy,” she said with emotion.

“At the end of the day seeing how we've figured it out together and we've got that lightbulb moment that teachers, like, seek,” she added with tears streaming down her face. “We all seek that moment of when they finally get it."

Rogers does her best to support kids when they’re having a tough time at home.

"Well, when they come in but they're upset at the morning, or had a rough night, or something bad happened the night before, I've got to be that someone that steps in for them,” she said. “And help them come to a balance before I can expect anything from them."

Every day, she sets the tone in class.

"Does everyone have a bag of fractions?” she asked her kids Wednesday, preparing to play a game. Rogers believes teaching her third-graders is just a fraction of the impact she makes.

"You might have to figure out what they need from you emotionally,” she explained.

Beyond the music she uses to drive home lessons, Rogers is in tune with the emotional pulse of her students.

It doesn't take long to realize the simple fact that making a difference moves her.

"Where's my dancer, Marco?" she said, with her kids dancing to “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift. “Oh please. There you go, Antoine's giving in."

"So, getting to be that connection for them to help them see that people care,” she stressed.

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