BIRMINGHAM TEACHER EARNS HIGH MARKS FROM ALFA
MONTGOMERY, Ala. A Birmingham teacher's emphasis on parental involvement and hands-on learning has paid big dividends in the classroom and this month earned Stephanie Hardy Trumer recognition as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for May. As this month's winner, Ms. Trumer will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co., and her school, W.J. Christian School, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Ms. Trumer earned a master's in early childhood education from Samford University and AA certification from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She currently is pursing a Ph.D. from UAB in early childhood education and development.
Ms. Trumer credits much of her success as a teacher to the emphasis she places on parental involvement. "My role as a kindergarten teacher is to help families and children make the transition from learning at home to learning at school," she said. "I work very hard to create that link in a variety of ways. My first contact with families is on the phone before they enter kindergarten. Once we begin the school year, I keep in touch with parents through a weekly newsletter, phone calls and emails."
Ms. Trumer has been nominated for several teaching honors including the Disney American Teacher Award. She also received a grant to obtain National Board Certification, and she has shared her expertise with other teachers through mentoring programs and presentations.
In the classroom, Ms. Trumer uses hands-on activities to engage students in the learning process. She said a unit called "All About Me," is an example of how one concept can be used to teach students a variety of academic lessons.
"During science, we will study and observe bones and discuss how they give our bodies shape. In math, we count how many fingers we have and then add in our toes," Ms. Trumer said. "For language, we discuss how no two people are alike and share details about each child's family (and) pets."
During 2004, Alfa Farmers will honor one outstanding 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.