Irmo, SC (WLTX) - You are smart, you are special and you are appreciated. Those are just some of the words that a Midlands teacher tells her students in some capacity each and every day.
Students in a 2nd grade classroom at Irmo Elementary could travel all around the globe, but they'd be hard pressed to find a teacher like Mrs. Nicole Bishop.
"I would say that I chose it," Bishop explains about her career, "because I love to be a teacher, but the truth is I chose it because I love to be with kids."
It's not hard for her students, like Xzavier Rush, to explain all of the things they learn in the classroom.
"History and technology, art, music, Spanish... no I didn't mean Spanish!" said Rush.
Mrs. Bishop teaches every subject with T-L-C.
"This classroom is a place of joy," said Bishop. "These kids have to work hard every day and we learn a whole lot, that's why they're in school. But we are joyful learners."
That "joy" is a building block of self-esteem which leads to big dreams.
"I want to be a superstar!" explained Rush, aspiring to be a rock star. "Signing is about fluency!"
Perhaps one of her best attributes is the ability to look at each one of her students and see her own children.
"What would I want for my own kids? I want them to grow. I want them to learn. I want them to be really cognitively smart but I want them to feel safe and be nurtured and to love other people. So when I look at these students I think of my own kids. "
All of these reasons are why Nicole Bishop is News19's Golden Apple Award winner.
"I love my job because of these children. They make you better. They do. My philosophy is look for what the kids can do. Look at what they're good at and build from there."
If you know a teacher who deserves the award, you can visit any Midlands BI-LO store, pick up a Golden Apple Nomination form and tell us why you think your favorite teacher deserves the honor.