ALFA FARMERS HONORS CHAMBERS COUNTY TEACHER
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Her classes learn about geometry and shapes while making gingerbread houses, study history as they enjoy a Native American feast, and keep up with everything they've done during the year on the classroom's website. These are but a few of the activities that make Alfa's Teacher of the Month for August, Susan Sims, truly outstanding.
"She is always willing to go the extra mile to make our school day successful; her dedication and love for the children shows in all that she does," said Patti Slade, who teaches with Sims at Springwood School in Lanett, Ala.
Because of her dedication and excellence, Sims will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co., while her school will receive a matching $1,000 gift from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
Although Sims has been teaching at Springwood School for 13 years, her original degree was not in education, but a B.S. in pharmacy from Mercer University. In 1992, Sims received her master's in early childhood education from Auburn University at Montgomery and has been teaching Springwood students ever since.
"My classroom is a community," Sims said. "I provide a secure environment where it is safe to take risks, safe to fail and retry, and where each student is appreciated as an individual learner. I teach with a balance of firm discipline and tender, loving care."
Sims' last nine years have been spent as a second-grade teacher, where she has worked to make sure her students are exposed to many different activities and experiences, and that they each have a chance to shine. One opportunity that students and parents both love is the Star Student Program, where each student is highlighted for an entire week. Students bring pictures from their life; their families come to eat lunch with the class; and every student writes that week's Star Student an encouraging letter.
During 2004, Alfa Insurance 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 online by clicking on "Alfa Teacher of the Month" in the Ag Links section of the Alfa Farmers website, www.alfafarmers.org.