WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — It's a teacher's job to help students grow in their education, and also mature as individuals. It's not every day that teachers tell students how they affect their lives.
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"You're always going to have a special place in my heart. I just believe in you. I know you're going to do great things," said Eliza Moralez, who teaches English as a Second Language at Westside Elementary in Warner Robins.
She shares with Kimberly Lopez Ramirez how the 5th grader motivates her to go to work every day. She's a student Moralez believes has a bright future.
"You can become whatever you want to be. You can do whatever you want, and I want you to know that I believe so much in you, and that I love you," says Moralez to Kimberly.
Moralez is one of 17 teachers at Houston County Schools who picked a student who inspires them and is someone they believe in. Then, they sat down face-to-face to share the message.
Moralez says, "What kept coming back was, 'Who really needs to hear this?' Kimberly came to my mind because I've seen her grow so much, I've seen her progress these past couple of years."
The school system did the video project to showcase why teachers love their work. The project completely surprised students, and so did the kind words.
"It made me feel happy, and it made me feel confident in myself, because she's always been helping me when I came here," Kimberly said.
Ramirez says hearing these words from her teacher made her feel like she could conquer anything. "If she believes in me, that means that I can do what I want."
Moralez says being a teacher goes beyond helping kids learn. "Being a teacher, we're not just educators, we're parents, we're counselors, doctors, so it's very important for us to have a relationship with all our students."
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To Moralez, encouraging students is a part of the job. "Sometimes, us educators, we have to let them know that because they themselves have to believe in themselves in order for them to be successful one day."
It's a message Moralez tries to share not only with Ramirez, but all of her students.