The day before Halloween, Krystin Battey's third graders at Oakley Elementary study the human skeleton, specifically the bones in the hand.
From the very beginning, Battey knew teaching was in HER bones.
"My first grade teacher, Ms. Radcliff, was a dream," remembers Battey. "And, I knew, probably about the first week of first grade that I wanted to be a teacher."
Battey has been a teacher for sixteen years, all over North Carolina, but she is new to the mountains and Oakley.
"We have some challenging situations here, so it's important they have a safe place to come, a loving place to come," says Battey.
Some of her students say they feel that love, to the bone.
"I love her as a teacher and I want to keep her as one," says student Laelyn. "When I move to another grade, I probably won't have her again, but I hope I will."
"Me and my mom both like her," says student Lukas. "She's very nice, and she helps you whenever you need help."
"It's kind of what I was made to do," says Battey about teaching.
Battey, who has a large, blended family, says she loves the kids in her class like her own.
"I look at them and want them to have great opportunities, to grow up and have a beautiful life."