Photo Courtesy of Volunteer NorthEast Mississippi.
Kyion White, a member of the Golden Wave Media staff, met with Tupelo High School’s 2019-2020 THS Teacher of the Year, Twyla Crayton, who teaches Algebra at the Tupelo High School to learn more about her life and teaching career
KW: How long have you been teaching?
TC: This is my 23rd year teaching.
KW: What subjects have you taught?
TC: I have taught Biology I, Biology II, Pre-Algebra, sixth grade math, eighth grade science and now I’m teaching Algebra I.
KW: Was being a teacher your dream job?
TC: No, actually, my dream job was to become a physical therapist because I wanted to become a sports trainer for an NFL or NBA team.
KW: Why did you want to teach at Tupelo High School?
TC: I wanted a challenge, and I felt that this atmosphere was going to give me that challenge.
KW: What personal traits do you need as a teacher?
TC: As a teacher, you need patience. You need to have compassion and to be flexible.
KW: What kind of qualities do students look for in a teacher?
TC: I think students look for a teacher who they can trust. Someone who cares about them and is compassionate about their learning, and someone who’s going to push them to their highest potential.
KW: What do you look for in a student?
TC: A student who cares about learning. Someone who wants to become a lifelong learner, and someone who just hasn’t had that someone to push them to the next level.
KW: Do you have any weird superstitions?
TC: I do. I don’t wash on certain days. And also on Fridays, whatever I started I have to finish.
KW: How has high school changed the most since you were in high school?
TC: High school was trying as far as the students back when I was in high school. All of my classmates and I all had dreams, and we all wanted to go to college. We knew where we wanted to go. And I think today’s students don’t have that. They can’t visualize beyond tomorrow. And we’ve got to learn how to teach them to have visions and goals and try to help them strive towards those goals.