Thanks to Teachers: Neal Compton

Photo credit: WLOS Staff

Sixth-grader Ryann Hernandez showed off her cast that was signed by her class at Koontz Intermediate School, including math teacher Neal Compton.

It was Ryann who nominated Compton for Thanks to Teachers.

"I think he deserves some recognition because he's really amazing," Hernandez said.

Students have started to study long division with decimals. It's a struggle for some, even with a patient and entertaining teacher.

Compton reflected on his own struggle before he became a teacher 19 years ago.

"Going through college, I changed majors five times trying to avoid being a teacher. But, eventually, I realized I was called to be a teacher, and that's what I'm supposed to do," Compton remembered.

And, once Compton answered that calling to be a teacher, he said, "It was just happiness."

Sometimes Compton, who is from the hills of Virginia, will turn up the country accent or use what he calls the "Radio Announcer" voice.

"It just makes me really get into it, and I just listen more and laugh while I'm learning," Ryann said.

Compton said he's always loved math, and seeing his students learn and progress is his greatest reward.

"Seeing the 'light bulb moment' as I call it, when somebody gets something, and there were a lot of those in there today," he said.

Meanwhile, the fun math teacher with the big personality has inspired at least one student to follow in his footsteps.

"I want to be a teacher when I grow up," Hernandez said.

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