BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Oak Mountain Middle School is celebrating one of their own and his recent honor: being named Alabama Teacher of the Year.

Jeff Norris teaches sixth grade math at Oak Mountain. In his new role as Teacher of the Year, Norris will be the state’s education ambassador, where he will get to travel across the state and talk with other educators.

“It’s a significant honor,” Norris told CBS 42 anchor Andrea Lindenberg Friday morning. “It has been a whirlwind of emotions the last couple of weeks and so finally having a chance to sit down and kind of think about what it actually means is such an impact.”

Norris said getting to do what he loves every day is what drives and inspires him as a teacher.

“I think the fact that we have the opportunity to make a difference every single day is what drives me,” he said. “I wake up in the morning and I am excited to go to work. Not everybody gets to say that, so I do love what I do.”

One way Norris tries to get his students interested in math is to appeal to their interests and to remind them that it is alright to try and solve difficult problems.

Math is not always everyone’s favorite subject or even their best subject, but everyone can be a math person.

Norris said he is excited about the opportunity to represent all of the teachers and educators in Alabama and is looking forward to travelling across the state to share ideas with them.