Dacia Irvin is sort of a “rock star” at Baker Middle School. She has taught there for three years and has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight after recently being named the Muscogee County Teacher of the Year by the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation.
Dacia realized she wanted to teach when she was working at a daycare center. She says what hooked her was seeing the progress her little babies made over the course of a year.
“At the beginning of the year they didn’t know shapes or numbers or any of that. At the end of the year they’re reciting all of this. Just seeing that much growth and knowing I was a part of that…words can’t describe it.”
It is somewhat ironic that Dacia wound up teaching math.
“I never as a student felt like I was smart in math, ever. I always felt like it was too difficult. I was that student that tapped out. I just don’t get it.”
She credits her geometry teacher at Kendrick with making her feel like she could excel in math. And that kind of encouragement is what Dacia offers her students each day. She reminds them, “If you don’t believe in yourself, then I believe in you. Just know that I have enough belief in you for both of us.”
The signs around Ms. Irvin’s room convey how much she believes in her students and the kind of qualities she wants them to display.
Dacia says teaching is what she’s meant to do, and adds, “Teaching is so much more than what’s in the textbook, facts, algorithms. Teaching is about creating those relationships and building those bridges and getting our students to the next level so that one day they can be the ones that are making a difference and changing our society.”