Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Week: Tyla Soto
McNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. — Tyla Soto teaches 3rd grade reading, language arts and history at Selmer Elementary School, which is the same school she attended as a child. “Every morning I stand at my door and I just hug every one of them,” Soto said. She says it was her teachers here that inspired her to teach. “The teachers that I had here always were such an inspiration to me. Not only in elementary school but middle and high school.” Soto grew up in Eastview and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Alabama. “I always love learning, so anything I could do to learn something new or anything,” Soto said. “Or reading — I’m a big reader. I always loved that, so it was a big impact on me.” She says her classroom is built on respect and that she knows students carry that on after they leave her class. “I just set up these classroom expectations with my kids, and respect is a big word. You can ask any of my students.” Soto says she likes to keep her students moving and out of their seats. “I love getting the kids involved. As a kid, I didn’t want to be sitting all day long. We like to move. We get on the floor. We just do all kinds of things just with that — with whatever we are doing at the time.” Her favorite thing about teaching is being with the kids and setting goals. “I love helping them learn, love helping them accomplish a goal that they think they can’t get. When I see that light bulb go off it just makes my heart smile.” Soto will now be eligible for the statewide Educator of the Month award. To vote for her or any of the other nominees, go to seehowitaddsup.com. To nominate a teacher for the WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News weekly award, email email@example.com.