HOUSTON COUNTY EDUCATOR EARNS HIGH MARKS FROM ALFA
"MONTGOMERY, Ala." Ruth Hooks' commitment to educating her students and to mentoring younger teachers earned the former Dothan English teacher Alfa's Teacher of the Month award for November. As this month's winner, Mrs. Hooks, who now serves as a reading specialist with the Alabama Department of Education, and Northview High School, each will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation. Mrs. Hooks, who began her teaching career in 1970, compares her classroom to a store where students come to acquire skills they will need for their journey through life. She calls her room "Hooks' Olde English Literature Shoppe."
"Students require a variety of different products to help them adequately prepare for their futures," she said. "Like customers, they enter the classroom with set preferences and a diversity of requirements and needs. Effective teachers meet these needs; they become the education shopkeepers--'selling' products to a population of students who continually return to sample newer and different tools from the wide inventory of educational experiences available to them."
In her classroom, Mrs. Hooks' accommodates different learning styles by incorporating group projects, hands-on activities, journal writing and testing into her daily lesson plan. In recent years, she has helped passed these methods on to other teachers by serving as co-director of Troy State University's Wiregrass Writing Project and as a teacher consultant at in-service centers across Alabama.
A graduate of Auburn University, Mrs. Hooks earned her master's and AA degrees from Troy State University-Dothan. Last year, she was certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
Alfa and Alabama Farmers Federation recently announced that it would sponsor the Teacher of the Month program for the sixth year in 2003. During the school year, 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.