Dinwiddie County teacher Jennifer Adkins goes Above and Beyond the classroom

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Good Morning Richmond continues their Above and Beyond the Classroom segment — highlighting teachers doing great work in their schools.

8News anchor Whitney Harris went to see a teacher in Dinwiddie County who is very hands on.

“I call them my kids. It’s not ‘my students,’ they’re my kids and they’re always going to be my kids,” said Jennifer Adkins, a teacher at Southside Elementary School in Dinwiddie County.

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And one can tell Mrs. Adkins has lots of passion for her kids.

When asked what she loves about teaching, her response was “everything,” saying she loves her relationship with the kids.

“It’s not just about the curriculum, it’s about them,” she said. “I don’t come to school for scores I come to school because of these kids.”

Mrs. Adkins does lots of projects with her class. When Harris stopped by her classroom, they were making pilgrims to go along with a book they had just read.

“It’s cold, so we put ear muffs and a cloak around him with a belt,” said student Devin Stewart, describing the pilgrim he made.

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Mrs. Adkins has been teaching for five years. She once was studying to be a pharmacy technician, but that all changed.

“I went into my friend’s preschool classroom. It was my second year of college and I thought ‘this is what I need to do,'” she said. “And so I switched majors once again and I found my calling…I definitely found my calling.”

Her students agree.

“My teacher is really nice and I like how she loves us and cares for us,” said student Kyndal Sawyer.

“She makes stuff when it’s like ‘blahh.’ She makes it really fun!” said Devin Stewart.

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Mrs. Adkins also teaches at the Math Science Innovation Center, she’s active in her church, helping those in need, and she even makes time for her own family.

“I have a three-year-old son and I am married and I have a family of my own, but this is my home away from home and I have to take care of them too,” she said about her class.

All of this hard work is why one of our biggest 8News viewers, Beth Tetterton, recommended her fellow teacher Mrs. Adkins for this story.

Beth Tetterton
Beth Tetterton

“She does a lot of projects, she’s very project oriented, very hands on and she also does a lot of community projects in her spare time,” said Tetterton. “She has a really full plate but she arranges it well.”

Mrs. Adkins got chocked up discussing being nominated for this story.

“Talk to me about what it was like to be a teacher who goes above and beyond,” 8News anchor Whitney Harris said.

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“I actually cried because it’s great to be acknowledged by colleagues,” said Mrs. Adkins, holding back tears. “It’s one thing to have a child say ‘you’re the best teacher in the world’ but it’s another thing to be recognized by someone in the field and it was very overwhelming and humbling to say the least.”

Mrs. Adkins says there’s no other profession she could imagine herself doing besides teaching.

“I just want to teach them to be good human beings.”

“I just want to teach them to be good human beings,” she said.

“It’s about teaching the kids to be productive and honest members of society. It’s not just what they learn in the curriculum, it’s about being able to apply it when they get older. It’s not about what you say to them, it’s about how you feel towards them and they know,” Adkins said. “Sometimes things can go unspoken.”

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