Barger Academy teacher praised for creative classroom

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Hamilton County teacher is being praised for going above and beyond to create a positive learning environment for her students.

Inside Barger Academy, Tammy Martin’s third grade classroom sticks out. The theme is Martinian Park. She moved from a portable to a new classroom. She fixed it up with help from her family, parent volunteers and community members.

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“These people really volunteered their time. So I greatly appreciate it. Thanks to my principal, Ms. Anthony. She was able to get some volunteers from various churches and they brought teenagers over to help me move out of the portable,” Martin said.

Students appreciated all of the hard work.

“I was like how did she get all of this done on the summer break,”Zyhonna Jackson said.

“This is big and she decorated it really nice,” Cassidi Walker said.

Kids can lounge, get massages or even exercise when they are reading. She says it is important to create a fun space for students.

“The comments that I have gotten from the parents over the years were they were sick, but they wanted to come to school. Or we were on vacation, but they were just ready to come back. It makes me feel well because for the mere fact they love the environment that they are entering,” Martin said.

She wanted this to be a second home.

“I want them to feel loved. I want them to be able to come to their teacher for anything,” Martin said.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Am I learning or am I just living here now?'” Ruthi Marchand asked.

It has a Starbooks and a duck pond.

“It is very relaxing. So you can relax while you learn,” Mallory Todd said.

“I feel like this is going to be the best year ever since I started going to elementary school,” Kadrian Gearing said.

Martin encourages teachers to get creative with their classrooms.

“Just see how inviting it will be,” Martin said.

Starbucks on Brainerd Road and on Gunbarrel Road are having a book drive. They will donate the books to Martin’s class.