WAVERLY, W. Va. (WTAP) - This is Morgan Trout's fourth year teaching, but it's her first year teaching at Waverly Elementary. She says she feels this is a very special way to mark her first year in Wood County.
"I'm very overwhelmed, I feel very undeserving. This is what I do every morning, just being with students is a reward enough. I'm very grateful and thankful, and this just encourages me to keep doing what I'm doing every day with my kids," Trout said.
She teaches third grade students, but is more than willing to help students in any year. She began an after school tutoring program, which Waverly Elementary has never had before.
"After school tutoring is voluntary, so students that just want to come and get some extra help or want to be challenged are welcome to come after school. They have a snack and then we just get down to business," Trout said.
She says it's pretty tough to pick her favorite thing about teaching.
"That's an impossible question. Just my students and interacting with them, seeing them grow, and making a difference in their lives, that's the most important thing," Trout said.
Her students are what keep her in the classroom day in and day out.
"When I think of my students, I have them for 180 days and when they're my age I want them to look back and say 'Oh, in third grade Mrs. Trout did this for me and made me feel special. After all of those years have passed, I want them to feel special and remember that I loved them," Trout said.
Parents say she is always available to them, patient with students who may be having a bad day, and they say she's made their kids actually want to go to school.
Trout also has some advice for those looking to become teachers.
"It is the most rewarding job, I think, but it's also a very difficult job and a very demanding job. You have to love it and you have to want to make a difference. You have to get up with that mindset every morning, but it pays off, it's extremely worth it," Trout said.
It's worth it in more ways than one. With the Jan Dils' Golden Apple Award, she knows that her hard work is really paying off.
"It's a good surprise, a great surprise. It made my whole teaching career, this is awesome! Thank you so much!" Trout said.