Educator of the Week: Kristi Byars

It’s time to recognize this weeks Educator of the Week, brought to you by the Tennessee Education Lottery.

Educator Of The Week Kristi Byars

Kristi Byars has taught a handful of subjects over the past 18 years, but currently loves the challenges of teaching seventh grade math.

“I’ve taught science and social studies, and ELA. So it was something different, and I really enjoy looking at the different strategies and I enjoy seeing what works for the different kids,” Byars said.

Math may not be the subject for everyone, but Byars tries to make it a positive experience for her class at Hardin County Middle School in order to change their minds about the subject, just like her algebra teacher did years ago.

“A lot of kids hate math. They’ve had bad experiences with it in the past. So if you can just get one little step in that positive direction, you can kind of change how they feel about the subject,” Byars said.

Byars says one important thing she talks about with her class is the importance of preparing yourself for a job later in life, which is where she brings the real world to them in some examples.

“We talk about different jobs where you would see this information so that it’s real. It’s not just numbers on a page. It really means something in the future and just in real life,” Byars said.

And because of that, Byars likes to focus on their strengths and weaknesses rather than their grades to see how they’re progressing over the year because she wants to see their success even after they leave her class.

“We’re not going to just focus on grades because we all have different strengths and weaknesses so we’re going to work together to grow. We’re going to improve and just grow,” Byars said.

Byars is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award.

To vote for her or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website.

To nominate an educator for our weekly award, just email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week