ROSWELL, Ga. -- When teacher Terry Schopp shows guests around her classroom for the first time, she gets very excited about all the reptiles and other animals her students have brought to her.
"These are my baby tree frogs, and you gotta see my baby fencing lizard. He is my pride and joy! He's so cute," Schopp said. "These are my larger critters. You see this gorgeous guy right here?"
She marvels over each one.
"Ooo, I also have a blue tail skink," she said, clapping her hands. "I love him!"
Schopp's class at Fellowship Christian Academy in Roswell is filled with a lot of living things she loves.
"I'm going to be a new grandma to 26 ducklings on Oct. 22. So we're excited," said Schopp.
There's an incubator with mallard duck eggs and - with her students - she's watching them grow.
Schopp's enthusiasm shines through everything she does with her first grade class and students have come to love nature, too.
It's no wonder when Avery Young had her eighth birthday party, her mom, Liz, contacted Exotic Paradise Reptiles to bring all types of creatures. Avery had no fear. Of course, her guests included Ms. Schopp.
"She got to come to my birthday party and there was a bunch of big snakes," Avery said.
Avery's mom nominated Schopp for 11Alive's Class Act Award because of how the teacher has sparked excitement for learning in her daughter.
"Of course, she loves Ms. Schopp not only because of her personality, but (because) all of these fabulous, wonderful pets," said Liz Young.
Schopp loves to talk about the beauty in living things.
"All the colors God uses to paint the butterfly. It's so cool. It's so cool. That's one of the ways I think we see God most is in everything around it. I think how much fun he must have had painting the birds and the fish," said Schopp.
At Fellowship Christian School, she can talk freely about God and His creations with her students and she does.
"I don't need a headstone when I'm dead, but, boy, it would be great if these kids can carry a part of me with them and maybe they'll teach their kids and they'll take a part of me with them too. I think that's the best part of teaching is being able to make a difference. They know I love them," said Schopp.