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August 08, 2002   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
August 08, 2002

"MONTGOMERY, Ala." Brett Evans' ability to spark her students' interest in science for the past 22 years has earned the Choctaw County teacher recognition this month as part of Alfa's Teacher of the Month program. As this month's winner, she and her school, Patrician Academy, each will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation.

A graduate of Queens College in North Carolina, Mrs. Evans earned post-graduate degrees in biochemistry, education and microcomputers. She began her teaching career at Patrician Academy in 1981. She has since completed more than 800 hours of professional development training.

As a science teacher, Mrs. Evans feels motivating her students is a vital step when beginning a lesson.

"To stimulate learning, I often begin a concept with a scientific demonstration, a related work of art, an analogy or current event," Evans said. "The idea is to discover and relate new knowledge to prior experiences."

To encourage participation, Mrs. Evans rewards students for answering questions correctly.

"In order to actively engage every student in the learning process, questions are asked in a non-threatening manner, and responses are acknowledged in a positive manner," Evans said. "Students are not rushed to give answers thus allowing them to think."

Mrs. Evans is known for finding creative ways to teach science. She uses Bingo to teach her students difficult concepts. She also started the "Biology Treasure Hunt," which allows students to have fun while identifying plants. "She did not believe all learning had to come from books," said former student Johnny Graham. "She let us explore and learn."

Another effective method Mrs. Evans uses in her classroom is called "teaching across the curriculum." She said this reaches children on all levels and prepares them to reach their goals and become well-rounded citizens.

"I remember Mrs. Evans teaching a bunch of us boys and she would find projects that would interest us," said former student Eric DuBose. She let us throw the baseball and shoot a bow and arrow to measure the speed and motion of a projectile. She really wanted us to understand what she was teaching, so she found a way to interest us. I'll never forget her for that, and I am sure the rest of those boys won't forget her either."

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. Application information is 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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