Crystal Beard is in charge of a bright, motivated, enthusiastic group of 3rd graders. The students feed off their teacher’s energy and her love for them.

“I was inspired by my mom,” Beard says. “She worked so hard to make sure that I knew what I needed to know for school. And I was just inspired by my struggle in elementary school. “

Mrs. Beard wanted to make sure that she would be the one to impart her knowledge on her students and make sure their elementary experience was smoother than hers.

“Don’t teach the same thing the same way every single time. Everybody learns differently. My goal is to give them learning in a different way.”

That means making lessons come to life. Like the Math they were working on when we stopped by.

“We’re learning to multiply by multiples of ten. We were doing strategies, multiplication strategies. The goal is to be able to solve problems in multiple ways.”

The goal is also to keep a group of 8 and 9 year olds on task.

“We set those routines, procedures, at the beginning and we follow through with them all year. Like the class today, going over the expectations daily, keeps the flow of the classroom consistent.”

Mrs. Beard knows she can not do this alone.

“I love my husband. He’s my biggest support. My family. My colleagues. My admin. team. They support me so much. Whatever I want to do, my crazy ideas, they’re here to support it.”

She also feels the embrace and support of this community. Lincolnton loves Crystal Beard because of the love and dedication she has for these children.

“I know I’m in the right place at the right time, because I prayed about it,” she says. ” I prayed about it. I know that this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”