Every year, the Metro Nashville Public Schools goes through a grueling yet thorough process of finding the Teacher of the Year.
Each school nominates one teacher, and then the field is narrowed down to six -- two teachers each from the elementary, middle school and high school levels.
Micki Agee's classroom at Hermitage Elementary may look like a toy store, but her style as a reading specialist teacher proves that she is serious about helping students. In her own words, she explains how atmosphere is just as important as academics.
"I am working with children that all the regular ed children that are not at benchmark.
"So it is a very, very rewarding job because these are the children who are having a little more difficulty.
"It takes dedication and it takes encouragement, and concern. Before you can get to their brain, you've got to get to their heart first.
"I want them to become excited. I want them to look at all of these things and say "Wow."
"I hope that they take the seeds that I have planted of encouragement, concern, empathy for one another to be a good citizen..."