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We’re highlighting a teacher every Wednesday as a part of the #RedForEd campaign.

Every year is a great year to celebrate our teachers, but this year has shined a bright light on the flexibility and compassion of our incredible staff.

Today we’re highlighting Mrs. Melissa Walker, a math teacher at Sarah Scott Middle School.

What motivates you?
The students motivate me to be better. I am here to help them but most days they help me. This job provides me with a purpose in life. I knew from the time that I was five years old that I was going to teach. I continue to learn from the students and staff daily.

How has your job changed due to COVID?
I have had to adjust how I teach. Learning and using technology has proven to be a challenge and I continue to struggle and learn things all of the time. COVID has proven a struggle for the kids and adults to connect with each other. We miss that human connection but hopefully we will begin to understand the importance of each other as citizens of the earth.

What is something that people don’t understand about your job?
I don’t think that most people outside of education understand the commitment of educators to their students. I remember someone asked me when I might have more kids and I said I already have over 100 that I love and care for on a regular basis. The other thing that is tough for educators is that we often don’t see the difference we make in our student’s lives. I had a young man come up to me and hug me a few years ago to tell me thank you. He said you believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself.

Why do you love VCSC/your school?
Many people know that I retired from teaching once. But I never really retired, I was a caregiver for my family and my husband. I don’t regret the time that I was not teaching as I was caring for my family and helping them through to the end of their time here on this earth. But shortly after my husband passed away I was notified that I would be placed on a COBRA health plan that was very expensive so I started to apply for teaching positions when Mr John Newport called and asked me if I would be interested in working at Sarah Scott with the math teachers as a support for struggling students, I jumped at the opportunity. When I walked into Sarah Scott most of the staff did not know about my family circumstances. But I felt like I was home. I had worked with most of the math faculty before and it truly was like coming home.

Be sure to check back on #Staffurday–Saturday, that is–as we recognize members of our non-teaching staff.