CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Linda Turner knew at a young age she wanted to be a teacher.

“I always broke out my teddy bears and baby dolls and taught them,” said Turner.

Growing up, school was her happy place and her safe place. Then her second-grade teacher, Mrs. Chambers, inspired her even more when she looked after her so her parents could tend to her sick brother.

“So she taught me in second grade, took me home, made sure I wasn’t missing any more school, and really instilled that loving to teach and that’s kind of what I do with my kids – I build that relationship,” said Turner.

When you spend a few minutes in Turner’s classroom, you can see firsthand how strong of a bond she has with each of her students.

“They don’t care what I know until they know I care about them,” said Turner. “You can’t learn if you’re hungry, so some mornings it’s an extra Pop Tart. It’s a snack at midday.”

Turner teaches 3rd-5th grade students at Blountstown Elementary School who need a little more one-on-one time.

“She has different techniques with all of her students,” said Pennie Kennedy. “She has students who aren’t as verbal, but she will do a special lesson with that student but still incorporate it into the main lesson for everyone else.”

Kennedy is a paraprofessional in Turner’s classroom. She says Turner is inspiring.

“After being in her room, I am considering going into Special Education as well.”

Turner is not only an inspiration to future educators but makes sure her students have whatever they need to be successful.

Turner said she has one student who struggles to feed himself. So, she played around with her 3D printer and created something that helps him to be more independent.

“I was able to 3-D print a piece to go on his hand to hold his spoon, so he could feed himself,” said Turner.

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