ALFA HONORS MONTGOMERY COUNTY MATH TEACHER
MONTGOMERY, Ala-- The ability to relate complex mathematical formulas to everyday activities helped earn a Montgomery teacher recognition this month as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for April.
As this month's winner, Joy Stanford will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co. Her school, Booker T. Washington (BTW) Magnet High School, will receive a matching cash award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
Mrs. Stanford began teaching in 1970, shortly after graduating from Huntingdon College in Montgomery. She later earned a master's degree from the University of Alabama and an education specialist degree from Auburn University Montgomery. Mrs. Stanford joined the BTW faculty in 1996 and was named the school's first Outstanding Teacher of the Month a year later.
Mrs. Stanford uses a variety of methods, materials and activities to help her students develop an understanding of mathematics.
"I want my classroom to be a place that students want to come to participate in an active learning experience," she said. "I firmly believe that there are many ways to approach and solve a problem. There are, therefore, as many ways to teach."
Mrs. Stanford routinely includes science, history, art and even dance in her lessons. In addition, she uses writing assignments, journal activities, small groups and hands-on activities to teach difficult concepts.
"In an activity entitled 'Walk the Walk,' my geometry students model velocity as a ratio between time and distance, making the connection with slope," Mrs. Stanford explained. "My precalculus students model the quadratic function by tracing the bounce of a ball."
A National Board Certified teacher, Mrs. Stanford won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics in 1999. She also coordinates BTW's tutoring program, serves as chairman of the Math Department and is on the Budget Committee and School Improvement Committee.
During 2003, Alfa and the Alabama Farmers Federation will honor one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state school board districts as well as two principals and two private school teachers. 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.