Warren County R-III names Teacher of the Year

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 4/13/24

Beth Weir is a middle school math teacher and was named Warren County R-III Teacher of the Year.

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Warren County R-III names Teacher of the Year


Beth Weir cares about her students. It was one of the qualities she saw in educators as a child that drove her to become a teacher and now she is trying to pass it on to her students. 

Weir, a Warrenton native, was named as the Warren County R-III School District Teacher of the Year.

She has been at Black Hawk Middle School for three years. Before that she taught at Hermann High School straight out of college. She obtained a bachelors in teaching from Lindenwood University and a masters from William Woods University. 

Her mother, Thea Etcher, is a teacher as well, and Weir credits her mother’s passion for the profession as the reason she followed in her footsteps. 

“The relationship I saw she had with kids is what drew me to teaching, having that relationship with kids and seeing them run up to her at Wal-Mart and saying ‘oh Mrs. Etcher it’s so great to see you,’ I wanted that,” Weir said. 

In her eighth-grade math class it is clear that she has her students undivided attention. During a pre-algebra lesson she walks them through problems asking for solutions. 

“Yes!” She shouts as a student produces a correct answer. She said getting to know students is one of the most important parts of her job, and she starts building that relationship from the first day of class. 

“I feel like for me it comes naturally just to make those connections with students,” Weir said, “I’m a real person to them, … they know every little thing about my family, my kids, what they’re doing.”

Those relationships help as she is teaching her math class. She admits it is not always the most popular subject but she has always had a passion for numbers and the process of solving equations. 

“I love math, I would do math problems all day,” Weir said. 

She felt her passion for the subject helped her students to pay attention and continue absorbing the information they needed to keep up with the course material. She tries to maintain a positive environment in her classroom where students are comfortable making mistakes. 

She focuses on eliminating the fear of mistakes so students are vocal about their work and she can intervene when they are falling astray. 

“Building that positive environment where they know it’s okay if they mess up, that’s the biggest thing for me,” Weir said. 

She said sometimes she will even go so far as to make mistakes intentionally so that her students know that they do not always have to be perfect. 

Her enthusiasm in the classroom is infectious and is part of her strategy to keep her students engaged. She said while she is exhausted sometimes as the day comes to a close it is worth it since her students will reflect her behavior and if they are enthusiastic in class they will learn. 

She is quick to deflect praise and says that what makes her such a great teacher is the team around her and the support that all of the faculty provide each other at Black Hawk Middle School. 

“We plan everything together, but it’s more than that, we break down into even more teams, we have eighth grade team, we have the math team, and we all work together. If we didn’t work together it wouldn’t be successful,” Weir said. 

That teamwork paired with her command of both her classroom and course material are what earned her the honor to represent her district as she moves on and is nominated for Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Regional Teacher of the Year.

“It means the world to me, I love my kids, I love my job and I think the award just brings a lot of positivity to our building,” Weir said.