Step inside Candida Fielding's 9th grade biology class at Northside High School in Warner Robins, and you'll see anything from balloons, to games, to a rap about fluctuation in populations.
"I never wanted to be the quote-unquote stereotypical teacher," Fielding says. And despite only being in her first year teaching at Northside, she already made a big impression on Zakeyia Westberry, who nominated her for "My Teacher is Tops."
"She sings a lot, she raps a lot, she dances a lot, she puts in a lot of excitement in it," says Westberry.
Fielding weaves in games and activities to teach her students everything from the science of plants to the impact of fossil fuels and global warming. She says growing up, science classes were often "cut and dry" and involved a lot of bookwork, so when she became a teacher, she knew she wanted to break the mold.
"I know kids, so I kind of know how to keep their interest," Fielding says.
A Fort Valley State alum, Fielding previously worked in Twiggs County where she won "Star Teacher" two year in a row, but this is her first award since moving to Houston County. "This is big for me," she says. "It's different being in a new place and not knowing if you're doing the right thing and influencing people, and apparently I am, and that touches me."
Junior journalist Hillary Fobbs-Glenn was on hand Wednesday morning to present Fielding with her award from 13WMAZ, which she proudly placed next to her Twiggs County cobra and "Sid the Science Kid" figurines.