By Charlotte Underwood
CARYVILLE, TN (WLAF) – Teachers make a difference in their students lives each and every day. For many students, having a teacher who cares and goes that extra mile can be the difference in a successful education and graduation. We’ve all had that teacher who inspired us or helped in some way. That’s why WLAF and Eagle Tire Pros salute all of our hard working educators with a weekly feature.
This week’s featured teacher is Brandy Mullins. She is the Special Education preschool teacher at Caryville Elementary School. Mullins was born and raised in Jacksboro. After living in Virginia for a few years, Mullins moved back to Tennessee and now resides in Knoxville.
According to Mullins, this is her second year as an educator and her first year teaching special education to preschool students, which is exactly where she wants to be.
“This is actually my dream job position that I always wanted to do,” Mullins said, adding that in her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and playing golf.
Her career path in education was inspired by two people; her son Zeke and his former special education teacher Lisa Overbay.
According to Mullins, her son is autistic and has shown her every day what you can achieve if you persist and keep working at something.
“He had to work to be able to do the simplest things that I used to take for granted, like the ability to swallow correctly. He also has a feeding disorder and is now starting to eat things that I have dreamed about for years. Watching what all he went through, and continues to go through every day, inspired me to go back to get my master’s degree to do special education to try to help other kids like my son achieve different things,” Mullins said.
She said her son’s former teacher Ms. Lisa was “an answered prayer” for her family and that she helped Zeke do things he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.
“She loved and helped a countless number of kids like mine in her years of teaching and improved their quality of life and pushed them to their fullest potential. I hope I can be even an ounce of the teacher that she was,” Mullins said.
According to Mullins, her favorite part of teaching is getting to play with her students every day, especially with the preschool age kids being “so fun!”
“There is no better feeling than seeing a child FINALLY accomplish something that they have worked so hard to be able to do for a long amount of time,” Mullins said.
Each day at school, she gets numerous hugs and love from all her students, and then at the end of each day she gets to go home to her family; these are the things that keep her going, even on the hard days …”coffee also helps.”
Every Thursday, WLAF’s Charlotte Underwood features the WLAF – Eagle Tire Pros teacher of the week. That educator also receives a free oil change from Eagle Tire Pros. To nominate a teacher for teacher of the week honors, please send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/10/2022-6AM)