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Thanks to Teachers: Tenisea Higgins

Thanks to Teachers: Tenisea Higgins - WLOS

At Clyde Elementary School, second-grade teacher Tenisea Higgins knows grades and test scores are important, but, says recognizing kids for their other many assets will help them perform their best.

Ms. Higgins math lesson of the day is on doubles. Meanwhile, parent Ashley Martinez is doubly grateful for her son's second-grade teacher.

“Kids aren't just reading and math. Especially now, with all the pandemic has done, they need to know they are loved,” says Martinez.

Martinez says that loved helped her daughter, who also had Ms. Higgins the year before.

The family had just moved, and her older child was struggling. “Caring for the whole child instead of 'what grade did you make on the test?' or 'did you complete your work.' More 'I'm proud of you for trying your best and that's her philosophy all the time,” Martinez explains.

Tenisea Higgins has been a teacher for 16 years, the last 4 at Clyde. She calls second grade a magical age. “Everything is still a surprise, and, they love you regardless,” says Higgins.

However, Higgins knows sometimes that magic disappears when there's too much pressure on the kids. “I think a lot of times we miss the mark of making sure we recognize students' other strengths besides their test scores and what's on paper,” states Higgins.

So, the second-grade teacher says she loves on her students and praises them whenever she can. “She does tell us 'you're all really special because you're a person,” says Ashley Martinez’ son Jack.

“We all love Ms. Higgins. She's really sweet. I wish I could have her all the way up to 12th grade,” adds classmate Makenzie.

“I think if they see that you see their other strengths then their confidence grows, and that can build confidence in all other areas of their life,” explains Higgins.

That's what happened for Ashley Martinez' daughter.

“She’s excelled, she's surpassed her reading goals, and, I attribute much of that to all Ms. Higgins helped her, with reading, and just the whole child,” says Martinez.

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