Educator of the Week: Emily Steele

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

Emily Steele is a first grade teacher at Bradford Elementary School.

She says she always knew she wanted to work with kids, and she went to the University of Tennessee at Martin to get her general education degree.

“I love being a teacher, I love being around the kids. It’s just very rewarding,” Steele said.

She says teaching isn’t about being serious all the time, especially when you’re teaching young children.

“We’re all able to have fun while we’re learning. It’s not just work, work, work. We’re able to break it up,” Steele said.

What also makes her classroom unique is Steele’s willingness to go beyond the curriculum.

“Making those relationships a priority at the beginning of the year. We’re essentially a family. So I feel like them knowing that I care so much about them makes them want to do their best,” Steele said.

Steele shared one of the biggest rewards of her job.

“Whenever you see a child’s face light up whenever they’ve accomplished something that they’ve worked hard on doing,” Steele said.

She also shared one of the biggest challenges.

“At the end of the year when your kid go on to the next grade because we’re like a family. They become my own kids, essentially,” Steele said.

Steele 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, Video