Fourth grade teacher Brittany Bronson has just entered her third year of teaching and tears up when she talks about the first class she ever had at Robinson Elementary School.
The group impacted the young teacher in a profound way and her passion for teaching is only growing.
"My first year of teaching was amazing and every year it gets better," Bronson said.
Bronson was named teacher of the year at Robinson this past spring and was overwhelmed by the recognition so early in her career.
"It was the biggest honor I think I ever could have. Even if I were to get named teacher of the year again ever, it still wouldn't replace getting named teacher of the year in my second year teaching," Bronson said. "I love everybody I work with and I just know that I work with the best teachers and so many of them have great ideas and are willing to put forth such hard work. It was a really great honor."
Apparently the affection goes both ways.
"Brittany brings an energy and excitement to RES every day. She is passionate about teaching and about making a difference in the lives of all her students," said Robinson Elementary School Principal Kim Bennett. "She is seen as a leader by her peers-someone that they can count on and go to for help.
Brittany has a bright future ahead of her in education. I am just so proud that she is a part of the RES family."
The Dahlonega native loves the outdoors and what she calls "little people."
While attending Valdosta State University she made her way through a number of majors before transferring to North Georgia and settling on what is now her passion, education.
She thought she wanted to be a veterinarian and then a marine biologist. After that she considered criminal justice. Next, nursing sounded good-at least until she passed out after seeing her mother get an IV placed in her hand.
After transferring to the University of North Georgia, she took an education course and began the 30 hours of community service required in a preschool.
"The first day I was in there, I absolutely loved it," she said. "I was out on the playground. I was playing with the kids. I was talking to them. I helped serve their little family meal."
She had known working with people was in her future, but that's when she realized it would be with kids.
"The first day of actual student teaching, being in an actual public school, it changed everything and I love it. I wouldn't change it for anything," Bronson said.
"I love it because everything is new. Not a single day goes by that is the exact same. Just seeing the moment when the kids are able to understand, figure out that they are learners and figure out that they are actually capable of learning is just a milestone for me," she said.
Bronson feels it is imperative to gain the trust of the kids she teaches and part of that is making sure they know she cares.
When she goes home, she thinks about her kids and whether or not she gave them the attention they need.
"From day one, we start with building that trust," she said. "Even if we get behind in math or science, trying to build that trust is the main thing."
She recently attended a conference that has made an impact on her teaching philosophy.
In a world where students can have any information at their fingertips in seconds, she's come to understand it's more than just passing on information.
Learning how to learn and providing guidance for the information that they can access is a bigger part of what today's teachers have to do.
"That is one thing that I am changing this year, from stopping giving them information and having them memorize to having them figure out how to do it," she said.
When Bronson is not in the classroom, the newlywed will probably be outdoors with her husband. She was married on Nov. 19 and the two enjoy kayaking, hiking and most outside activities.
She also loves to garden and one day before long is hoping to have a little person of her own.