COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC) - One educator is using her power for good to shape young minds in the classroom to become successful leaders in the world one day.
This teacher has been bringing children together for decades.
Walk into the classroom of Pamela Simmons, or Ms. Pam as the children like to call her, and you immediately feel welcomed.
For the past 30 years, Simmons has nurtured and shaped the young minds of many 4, 5, and 6-year-olds. First at the Jewish Community Center, and now at Central Learning Center in Collierville, Tennessee.
As a wife, and mother to two sons, time could be elusive, but not without its rewards.
"You just kind of do it," Simmons said. "It's kind of hard at times. I find myself staying up just a little bit later now to have that extra time but it's worth it."
Simmons' classroom is organized with building blocks, globes, hand paintings, dolls, the American flag, and signs of love and diversity, just like her students.
Learning is never more than a few steps away
Currently, Simmons is dedicated to giving back to her classroom brightened by a dozen future leaders, 4-year-olds, and for that, she receives countless hugs and praise from parents.
"They give you confirmation that it's all worth it," Simmons said. "And just this week I had a parent come to me and she said she was a former Biology teacher, I think it was. 'Oh, I just love the information that he gives me that you've taught him.'"
Each day, her students learn what makes them different but the same and that love is accepting each other's differences. Simmons loves that classroom 121 is a melting pot for such understanding.
"Next week we are going to talk about Ireland," Simmons said. "We have a Chinese parade. We do the Chinese New Year. We do an India Week."
The students also participated in Black History Month, complete with a soul food menu.
Simmons' 30 years of teaching and leading in the classroom, building self-esteem, and mapping out future leaders, one child, one 4-year-old at a time, truly makes her a Mid-South Hero.