Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Week: Derek Collins

ATWOOD, Tenn. — This week’s Educator of the Week presented by the Tennessee Education Lottery teaches science in Carroll County.

Derek Collins

Derek Collins has taught science for five years. He spent the last three years in Atwood teaching chemistry at West Carroll Jr./Sr. High School.

Collins started teaching at Milan Middle School. While he enjoyed the time there, it wasn’t until his first semester at West Carroll that he realized teaching high school students was his passion.

Collins’ favorite part about teaching is “seeing the kids learn and have that, ‘ah-ha moment’ in the classroom, kind of really getting them to just love science.”

Collins says he’s always had an interest in science, but it was one of his own teachers who pushed him toward the classroom. “My high school science teacher, she was a big reason I decided to go into science education,” he said.

For Collins, his main goal is to get his students interested in science, and he hopes they’ll actually love it.

“The kids, most of them want to learn,” Collins said.

With high school students, Collins finds he can connect a little easier. “To me, I can kind of relate more to them,” he said. “I understand that they have a lot going on in their life, so find ways to adjust my classroom needs to them, that benefits them overall.”

Collins is a native of West Tennessee and grew up in Clarksburg. He earned his degree from the University of Tennessee Martin.

Collins is now eligible to be the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month. Starting in May, to vote for him or any of the other nominees, visit www.seehowitaddsup.com.

To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at educator@wbbjtv.com. Include a brief description of why they deserve the honor.