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February 06, 2002   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
February 06, 2002

A second-grade teacher at Tuscaloosa's Woodland Forrest Elementary School, Suzanne Booth, has joined the ranks of educators from throughout Alabama to be honored by Alfa's Teacher of the Month program. As the February winner, Ms. Booth will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation. Woodland Forrest Elementary also will receive $1,000 for its role in encouraging outstanding teachers.

A 1980 graduate of the University of Alabama, Ms. Booth has continued to polish her teaching skills throughout her 22-year career. She has earned master's degrees in both elementary and early childhood education from UA as well as an "A" certification in educational administration and an educational specialist degree. Her crowning achievement, however, came in 2000 when she was certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Today, Ms. Booth shares her experience with up-and-coming teachers at professional development seminars. She attributes much of her success to a teaching philosophy that focuses on applying classroom lessons to real-life situations.

"To make instruction meaningful to each child, I believe that the various curricular areas should be integrated so students see first hand how their learning overlaps many areas of their daily lives," Ms. Booth said. "Providing hands-on science lessons, making math meaningful and providing social studies lessons that are applicable to students' daily lives is part of providing an effective program."

Ms. Booth also emphasizes communication among the student, teacher and parents. In addition, she evaluates each child's needs at the beginning of the year and structures her lessons accordingly.

"Each school year, I determine the learning ranges/abilities of each child by using a variety of assessment tools," she said. "Physical needs such as eyesight, hearing and special needs are assessed also. Using the information gathered, a multi-dimensional plan of instruction is designed."

This is Alfa's fifth year as sponsor of the Teacher of the Month program. During the 2002, Alfa will honor one teacher from each of Alabama's eight state school board districts as well as two private school teachers and two principals. Program criteria and application information for the program are available by clicking on "Alfa Teacher of the Month" in the Ag Links section of the Alfa Farmers website, www.alfafarmers.org.

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