Local Schools

Tiffany Little Sees Every Day as an Opportunity to Make a Positive Impact

Over 18 years of teaching, it would be easy to believe that the passion a teacher may have for a subject or teaching may be lessened. Tiffany Little is a wonderful example that teachers don’t lose the drive and passion they have to help educate their students but, just as important, also never stop caring and doing all they can to make a meaningful impact on their lives.

Teachers don’t just worry for their students, but they also want to make sure they are doing all they can to be the best teacher for every student.

“I pray for my students, but my daily prayer is that I can be the teacher they need me to be.”

Tiffany Little is the 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at Corner Middle School. She is also the yearbook advisor, lead mentor, cross country coach and a member of CMS’s leadership team.

Treye Hanner: Tell us a little about you and how you decided to become a teacher?

Tiffany Little: I am a graduate of Corner High School class of 2000 and Auburn University class of 2004 where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Language Arts Education.  I am in my 18th year of teaching, my 12th year at Corner Middle School, where I teach 7th grade English, coach Cross Country, sponsor the yearbook, serve as the Lead Mentor for new teachers, and am a member of my school’s leadership team.

Treye Hanner: What is your favorite part of being a teacher?

Tiffany Little: There are so many aspects of teaching that I love.  I love my students, first and foremost. They are my “why”.  When I was a student, I had teachers who really cared about me and what I was going through in my life.  They mentored me, and they helped me get through some really serious stuff that no teenager should have to endure.  Those teachers inspired me to do the same for other children.  I want to be that positive adult in someone’s life so that maybe, just maybe, I can help them in some way the way my teachers helped me.

Treye Hanner: Are there special moments where you say to yourself, “this is why I teach?”

Tiffany Little: I love when the students come back after having my class and say, “I wouldn’t have gotten through high school English if you hadn’t taught me this!”  It is a good feeling to know that you are having an impact on them.  Also, when the ones who may have given you a little bit of trouble in their younger years come back and tell you how much they appreciate you loving them through middle school.  It is really what keeps me going.

One of my favorite things is attending graduation each year.  I get to sit and watch my babies, now young men and women, receive a diploma, something they have worked so hard for.  It makes my heart full of pride and joy.  And, of course, getting to hug them afterward is a huge plus!

Treye Hanner: What challenges have you experienced while having to teach through the pandemic?

Tiffany Little: Teaching through the pandemic has definitely had its challenges.  I am a tech person, so I thought teaching virtually and digitally would be a great adventure, but it is actually quite challenging.  Children, especially younger ones, just don’t learn as well on the computer as they do with face-to-face, hands-on teaching.  The hardest part has been getting them acclimated back to what school used to be like and having a full year of class face to face.  It has been a struggle.

Treye Hanner: What’s the one thing you would like people to know about teachers?

Tiffany Little: One thing I would like for parents to know is that teachers love our job and your kids!  We want to work together as a team to make sure that we are all helping students reach their full potential and provide them with the tools that will help them be successful in the present and the future.

We are all in this together!  And we worry about your children. Decisions that we have to make for them can keep us up at night thinking and praying.  I pray for my students, but my daily prayer is that I can be the teacher they need me to be.

Southfork Publishing, LLC, the publisher of The Gardendale News, is launching an online magazine for teachers, called Jefferson County Teacher. Teachers and staff can sign up for our free email newsletter on our website for  Jefferson County Teacher.