Our best teachers mentor their students and provide our future leaders—children today—the basic skills that they need to live a long, productive life.
One of those teachers is Woodrow Price, who teaches math and science at Warren Central Intermediate School. Price is an Alcorn State University alumnus who has worked with youth for 13 years.
“What got me interested in teaching students was my personal experience as a student,” Price said. “I had teachers who down-talked myself and other students and as a result, I failed fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grade. I decided that I wanted to be a changed agent and be a positive person that children could look up to. I want to give my students opportunities that I did not have.”
Since becoming a teacher, Price has done some extraordinary work for his students including starting an annual toy drive.
“The toy drive started in 2015 when I first became employed with the Vicksburg Warren School District,” he said. “I assigned my students an assignment to write a letter to Santa. After reading their letters, I saw that most of them wanted a bike for Christmas, so I tried to find a way to make their dream come true.
“So in 2015, I initiated a toy drive on Facebook, and within 24 hours I’d received 30 bikes, enough to give all of my students a bike. Over the years, we’ve extended the drive to the entire school and now, each student receives a gift during Christmas.”
Price has met all challenges placed before him by the school, including limiting student absences.
“This past year I was challenged by our assistant principal to get a washer and dryer for the school to help curtail student absences, and I did,” he said. “Most student absences come from students not having clean clothes, and now we can eliminate that issue.”
Though his interest has always been in instructing and helping children, Price admits that his love for education seemed to grow after witnessing one student succumb to a fatal illness.
“We don’t realize this, but often times we like to complain about life,” he said. “Before becoming employed with the Vicksburg Warren School District, I worked at a school in Port Gibson, and there was a student there who had brain cancer and was given six weeks to live at the beginning of the school year. The principal would always set aside a weekend for us, the faculty and staff, to go visit him but one weekend we didn’t go. And he ended up transitioning over that weekend.
“It made me realize that we should not take anything for granted, because it could easily be taken away.”
Price’s advice to other instructors is simple: to love their students.
“If that student doesn’t feel loved or cared for by their teacher, then they most likely won’t perform the way that you want them to,” he said. “But if you do show love, then you will see a positive gain in academics.”