DEAN ROAD'S EVANS NAMED ALFA TEACHER OF MONTH
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A little r-e-s-p-e-c-t is an important part of the learning process, according to Brenda Evans who has earned respect herself as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for November.
As this month's winner, Evans will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance, and her school, Dean Road Elementary in Auburn, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
Evans, who teaches second grade, graduated with a bachelor's, and later a master's, degree from the University of Montevallo. She taught for 12 years in Shelby County before joining the Dean Road faculty two years ago.
Evans says that learning can only take place when an appropriate environment, one with respect, has been established.
"Children need to know that you respect them and to see you model respect for others, as well as insisting on respect from them," she says. "This enables children to take chances answering a question, creating a hypothesis, or even making a guess without fear of others making fun of them or saying that their statement was wrong. Next, there needs to be an established environment where children feel the freedom to explore and learn."
Bernella Knight Rose, a fellow teacher at Dean Road, was impressed by Evans' willingness to integrate new teaching methods and activities in her classroom.
"As a risk-taker, she is not afraid to try new teaching methods in order to reach students with a variety of levels and learning styles," said Rose, recalling how Evans brought Saxon Phonics, an intense, systematic phonics program, to Dean Road students.
Jacquelynne Greenwood, Dean Road's principal, also admires Evans' creative teaching methods. "Mrs. Evans is creative and innovative in her approach to teaching and sets high standards for herself and for her students and then works hard to see that they are met," said Greenwood. "She is constantly broadening her knowledge, improving her skills, and sharing with her peers what she has learned."
During 2006, 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 under Alfa Teacher of the Month in the Ag Links section of www.AlfaFarmers.org.