Cobb Co. teacher wins Civic Educator of the Year award - KMSP-TV

Cobb Co. teacher wins Civic Educator of the Year award

Posted: Updated:
James Morris, a Mount Bethel Elementary School teacher, is one of three teachers to win the Civic Educator of the Year award this year. James Morris, a Mount Bethel Elementary School teacher, is one of three teachers to win the Civic Educator of the Year award this year.
COBB COUNTY, Ga. -

A Cobb County teacher is being honored for his efforts in the classroom-- but he's not your average instructor.  James Morris says teaching is a calling for him, and his students say he they learn more than how to pass a test.  They're learning what it means to be good citizens.

In one fifth grade classroom at Mount Bethel Elementary School, Morris has done what every teacher strives to do.  He's gotten through to his students.  But teaching isn't Morris' first career.

For 20 years, Morris was an architect—until his firm decided to relocate.  He walked into a classroom for the first time back in 1994, and he hasn't left since.   He tells FOX 5 he adores his job.

"You can make your plans, but they're lesson plans and you never know where they're going to go," Morris said.

His love for his students shows.  His enthusiasm and creativity in teaching citizenship, government and public policy have earned him the title of Civic Educator of the Year. Morris is one of three teachers to receive the Civic Educator of the Year award, which is given by the YMCA's Center for Civic Engagement. It's an honor that was presented to him by Governor Nathan Deal.

Creative is just one word for Morris' style.  Each year, he runs Immigration Day, where his students actually take on the character of an immigrant.  They have to study the immigration test, citizenship test, and only some of them will pass and become "citizens."  Randell Trammel of the YMCA's Center for Civic Engagement says it's things like that exercise that help students remember forever.

"He teaches in a way where it sticks in our head instead of just always reading out of the book," said Eric Brewster, one of Morris' students.

Morris is grateful for the accolade, but he says shaping young minds isn't a job.  It's what he was born to do.  

 "The furlough days don't matter," he said.  "The no pay raises don't matter.  This is a calling, and it's something that 100 percent of teachers that are in that classroom don't have a choice.  They're here because this is their heart and soul."

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Hidden Treasures: April 24

    Hidden Treasures: April 24

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:32 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:32:15 GMT
    We asked you to share your hidden treasures with us, and boy, did you ever! We got dozens of emails from viewers who wanted to know what the items they had stashed away are worth.
    We asked you to share your hidden treasures with us, and boy, did you ever! We got dozens of emails from viewers who wanted to know what the items they had stashed away are worth.
  • Weekend Event Celebrates "Anything With A Motor In It"

    Weekend Event Celebrates "Anything With A Motor In It"

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:10:13 GMT
    If you spend your days fixing up cars, reading car magazine, and dreaming about that car you've always wanted...you might be a car enthusiast.
    If you spend your days fixing up cars, reading car magazine, and dreaming about that car you've always wanted...you might be a car enthusiast.
  • Safely restrain pets with the PupSaver

    Safely restrain pets with the PupSaver

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:07:29 GMT
    Most people treat their dogs just like their children. However, when it comes to dog safety in the vehicle, many drivers are buckling the children up but not safely restraining their pets.
    Most people treat their dogs just like their children. However, when it comes to dog safety in the vehicle, many drivers are buckling the children up but not safely restraining their pets.
  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • #IMREADY Fulton storm spotter training

    #IMREADY Fulton storm spotter training

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:03 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:03:42 GMT
    Atlanta-Fulton Emergency Management Agency is inviting residents to become trained storm spotters.The AFCEMA will host a free “SKYWARN” training program on Wednesday.
    Atlanta-Fulton Emergency Management Agency is inviting residents to become trained storm spotters.The AFCEMA will host a free “SKYWARN” training program on Wednesday.
  • Teachers in beating video deny wrongdoing

    Teachers in beating video deny wrongdoing

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:06:56 GMT
    A video showing explosive interactions with special needs students is causing outrage towards an Atlanta Public School.
    A video showing explosive interactions with special needs students is causing outrage towards an Atlanta Public School.
  • Man who shoots alleged car thief facing murder charges

    Man who shoots alleged car thief facing murder charges

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:24:40 GMT
    DeKalb County Police have charged a man with murder after he allegedly shot and killed a suspected car thief.
    DeKalb County Police have charged a man with murder after he allegedly shot and killed a suspected car thief.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices