DCSS Teacher of the Year Finalist steers students to destiny

Teacher of the Year Finalist Felita Lockette reads to her fifth grade Language Arts students / Kevin McLeod

Continuing in our series highlighting teacher of the year candidates, we take you to Martin Luther King Elementary School.

Walking into Felita Lockette's fifth grade Language Arts class, you know it's some place special. Immediately, your eyes catch the class motto: "Only you can stop your destiny".

"I try to build their self esteem, try to motivate them, I try to encourage them so I would like them to continue to believe that," says Lockette.

Even from a young age, Lockette knew she wanted to be a teacher, quickly setting her apart from her young playmates.

"I would always practice playing school at home with my little cousins and they always wanted to be the principal and I always wanted to be the teacher."

Taking notes from her own first grade teacher, she teaches her students to be respectful, be successful and always do your best.

"She always believes in us and she does everything to help us pass," says student Deonte Singletery.

Her most rewarding moment?

"When they master the skill. The success rate. When I see they have it and when they come back to me and they say, oh miss Lockette, I got it, I understand! Thank you!" says Lockette.

And her students are grateful for the attention she gives to each subject.

"She's a nice person and she makes sure we know it before she teaches us anything else," says student Tak'iyah Downs.

Hoping that her students remember what they learned here in the classroom first and foremost.

"That they had a teacher that believed in them, that they had a teacher who knew they could achieve anything if they put their mind to it, that they had a teacher who left an impact on their life and they want to be successful because of something I said or something I did.