Educator of the Week: Tyla Soto

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


Tyla Soto is a Selmer native. She attended Selmer Elementary as a student and she loved it so much she became a teacher there.

“I knew since I was in kindergarten I wanted to be a teacher. And they always supported me. Even as I got older, I would talk to them about it and what I wanted to do and I would get to help the younger classes. It’s awesome to come back exactly where I went,” Soto said.

Soto has been teaching for 15 years and now is teaching 3rd grade math and science, which involves a lot of movement as she tries to find the best ways for every one of her students to learn.

“We are moving objects, we are drawing, we are illustrating, we are doing something with movement. I think movement is part of them being successful and them just keeping their wheels going,” Soto said.

But Soto says what makes her a memorable teacher isn’t the class, but the relationships she has with her students.

“I make sure every day that I hug everyone of my babies. I make sure to tell them I love them. I make sure that they know there is somebody who genuinely cares, and I’m standing at that door smiling at them every morning,” Soto said.

And Soto says the relationships you have with every one of your students is key to gaining their trust and helping them be the most successful person they can be.

“It’s like I said, you have to love them first. If they don’t feel loved or they don’t feel like they’re cared for, they are not going to be enthusiastic or have that drive to learn,” Soto said.

And watching her students grow up to be successful may be one of her favorite parts of her job. She says teaching is the most rewarding career.

“I truly love walking through that door every day and seeing them. They really make it the best career. It’s a very rewarding career, and I just…I love every single one of them,” Soto said.

Soto 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