At Guilford High School, Deanna Ballard's class isn't your typical classroom environment. Instead, it is one filled with plants, bubbles and friendly fish.
"I think it gives them that hands on piece," said Deanna Ballard.
The environmental science teacher makes her lessons comes come to life for her students.
Assistant Principal, Greg Hodges said, "She's been able to take a course and bring it to life. She's been able to expand that to a lot of different activities to make the learning real for the students."
They are lessons that students apply directly to their every day lives.
This is a part of your world," said Ballard. "So a lot of students in school will say, 'When am I going to use this? Why do I need to know this?' And we can always relate what we are talking to to the here and the now. This is in your life. This is today. This is what matters."
She wants to make her students aware of the issues that face them and our world.
Ballard said, "They're part of a community. They're part of a state and they need to accept that role and do the best they can do. When I can help them see that, that feels good."
In her 19th year in education, she gains as much from her students as they do from her.
"It's great to have those smiling faces remind you that this is why you're here and it's gonna be okay," said Ballard.
It's why teaching continues to be her passion.
"I feel very thankful to work in a job where I look forward to coming to work," said Ballard. "I am very lucky."