Created: 01/22/2014 6:11 PM KAALtv.com
By: Laura Lee
(ABC 6 News) -- Life has a way of throwing us curve balls when we least expect them and our teachers are often champions of dealing with life's stresses inside the classroom.
This week, our Excellent Educator is from Albert Lea and she is a champion.
"Thank you so much, this is surprising and very sweet," says Nicole Brownlee.
For ten years, Mrs. Brownlee has been teaching at Lakeview Elementary in Albert Lea. This year, it's first grade.
"I'm so blessed to work with such awesome families," says Brownlee, "they're such awesome kids."
She knew early on, she always wanted to teach. "My mom does home day care and so I was raised around lots of kids, they knew I would teach, I knew I would teach."
Along the way, she's learned a few things about herself too.
"They look at life everyday with a smile on their face and everyday they are eager and their the ones that make me eager and positive about everything," she says.
Being positive is very important, since their class is without carpet currently. "My room was flooded but it didn't change anything," she says,"kids come in an we still do our job everyday."
"We are happy about everything, we work hard and we don't let anything stop us."