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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Kindergarten teacher Katie Coleman couldn’t believe it; she was a Teacher of the Week. She even exclaimed, “Stop it!” in disbelief of the news.

She truly loves her students and looks at each one as if he or she is family. She cares about them so much she wants them to grow up having already learned a lesson many people spend their entire lives soaking up.

“Obviously, you can tell: I’m a little person,” she said. “So, I create a bond that we’re all different. We have a rainbow fish in here.”

The rainbow fish is a project the students began at the beginning of the year and now they proudly display it on their classroom wall. Each student created their own individual scales…together they make an even more beautiful fish. It’s a reflection of the real world according to Ms. Coleman.

“We’re all created differently and I’m on their level. I see, obviously, how they see,” she said.

That is a substantial life lesson for children at a young age. But surprisingly, Ms. Coleman says she is really the one learning something.

“There is a quote,” she explained. “While we teach children about life, they teach us what life is all about.”

In addition to love reeling her back to the classroom day after day, year after year, their eagerness to learn tugs on her heart strings. “The little things in life get them so excited,” Coleman said.

Soon, she’ll watch her students grow into first graders and they’ll move to another classroom, but she hopes they’ll always remember what she taught them: “We’re all different…and they can do anything they want to do. And they are loved.”

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