Elizabeth Hume GMSD Teacher of the Year Grades 5-8

Elizabeth Hume, a dedicated 6th-grade social studies teacher at Houston Middle School since 2014, is known for making social studies exciting. In fact, she’s been doing so for 27 years! Elizabeth uses high-interest music and videos in her classes, often changing the lyrics of popular songs to fit what they're learning about different ancient civilizations. Her students love these songs and remember them years later. She also gets her students to do fun group projects, like acting out TV interviews with Egyptian pharaohs or making newspapers about ancient Greece​.


In her classes, Elizabeth uses a teaching activity called "hexagonal thinking" where students link together different historical terms and explain their thoughts. This helps her see how well they understand the material and where they might be confused​. As a leader on her teaching team, she works with other teachers to look at how students are doing and plan out extra help or more challenging work for them​.


Elizabeth doesn't just teach in the classroom, her work extends much beyond the typical school day. She started the Days of Diversity program, a week-long event in May that celebrates the different cultures of students and staff with a parade, decorations, and a special event called Taste of Diversity, where families share food and traditions from their cultures. It's a big hit and makes students from all over the world feel celebrated.


She's also involved in lots of school activities. Elizabeth runs a food cart to raise money for the school at sporting events, is a regular fixture in the stands and in the audience for her students, and helps out with community service projects like “Feed the Frontline” or organizing students for the Germantown Holiday Parade​.


Elizabeth loves taking her students beyond the classroom. She's journeyed with students on trips to places like Pompeii and Rome to see the sites they study about. She even created a special elective class called History 901, where students learn about local history and go on field trips around Memphis​. Her way of teaching and being involved in the community shows how much she cares about her students and helping them learn both inside and outside of school. The community has also recognized her many efforts. Elizabeth has been awarded both the PTA Lifetime Achievement Award and the S.T.A.R. of Excellence Award from her schools’ supporting parent organizations.