Rachel Ellis — Warren Williams Elementary Alternative School

Our Welcome To Sanford Lee County Teacher of the Week is Rachel Ellis of Warren Williams Elementary Alternative School. Ms. Ellis has been a part of the Warren Williams family for eight years — her first four years as a teacher’s assistant and the next four as a lead teacher for Pre-Kindergarten. She holds a bachelor’s in human development and family studies (early care) from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, a license in B-K Teaching Licensure and a Masters in Early Care: Teaching Diversity from Walden University.

In addition to teaching preschool students, Ms. Ellis is the Pre-K Chair, Transportation Committee Chair and Traditions Committee Chair, and works on school events, fundraisers and field trips. She is also a teaching mentor in the Lee County Schools Beginning Teacher Program with three Beginning Teachers under her.

Ms. Ellis believes that the key to success is simple. You just need to play! “I believe that children learn best through play. I love to find what a child is interested in and teach them through their interests.”

Ms. Ellis is most proud of helping children reach their fullest potential. “Something about the look in a child’s eyes when they understand something for the first time is the reason why I enjoy teaching.” She feels that her biggest teaching accomplishment is knowing that she has made a positive impact on a child’s life and ensured that their first year in school was the foundation that they needed to become anything they could possibly dream of becoming.

Teaching young children is personal for Ms. Ellis because she had a difficult time learning as a child. She wasn’t given the opportunity to go to preschool and struggled to keep up with her peers. “Knowing the struggles that I had as a child, I wanted to make a difference so I sought to become a preschool teacher. Preschool is more than laughter, fun, and games. Preschool is a place where we learn to not only make friends but how to solve our problems and identify who we are. Preschool is a place where we learn to cut on a line, decide if a word rhymes, learn our letters and tell time. Preschool is a place where beginnings are made and traditions are started. I may only be their teacher for a year but they occupy a little piece of my heart for a life time!”

In her free timer, Ms. Ellis is all about her families — her own family and her school family. “My whole life revolves around my family and my classroom. Every day in our classroom is packed full of adventure, creativity, fun, love and play. I feel like a big kid! I come home from work every day covered in paint, sticky with glue, and a few markings from markers here and there but I wouldn’t trade a second of my day for the world!”