Educator of the Week: Colleen Thompson

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

Educator of the Week

Colleen Thompson is a fourth through sixth grade teacher at Community Montessori in Jackson.

She has taught for over 25 years, and she says it’s not only a job, it’s her hobby and passion.

“I started at Community Montessori School two years ago, and I have just loved it. It has been such a joy to see the three age groups work together. I’ve always loved the Montessori curriculum. It just has been such a great learning experience for me to be able to see how this works,” Thompson said.

Prior to teaching at Community Montessori, Thompson’s career mostly consisted of teaching a foreign language and teaching children below the age of five.

“I began thinking I was going to teach Spanish to high schoolers and ended up teaching Spanish for about eight years to middle schoolers, and absolutely loved it. Fell in love with my middle school kids. Fourteen years, I stayed in preschool and I just loved my four and five year olds, but then it was time for a change,” she said.

Thompson said her favorite part about her job are the relationships that are formed with the children and their families.

“You become a second family, you know. They are your extended family. I love being with them everyday. If I’m not here, I miss them. It’s just those lasting relationships. Some of those kids that I taught 20 years ago that I see now just being productive citizens and amazing adults, it just is the most wonderful thing,” she said.

Thompson said the biggest challenge as an educator is not being able to protect her students outside of the classroom.

“We fight against so much in this world that they hear. You know, just all the voices of this world that are not true. If I can let them just be a kid and see who they are and just shine just for the seven hours that they are here and feel special, that is wonderful. I think it’s a huge challenge for teachers to be able to block that noise out and say, ‘Okay. You are somebody in my classroom. You matter,'” she said.

Thompson 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