OAK MOUNTAIN'S McGOWAN ALFA TEACHER OF MONTH
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Allen McGowan believes there's more to education than reading, writing and arithmetic. In fact, the Oak Mountain Elementary School physical education teacher says students can learn much about life on the playground.
"I believe that students should develop socially and acquire a personal interest in their own health and well-being," he says.
"Students need to be placed in a variety of situations that promote good social behaviors and allow them to interact with their peers in meaningful learning experiences," says McGowan.
"By developing a well-rounded program, I believe students will become aware and have a good understanding of their own personal fitness," he added. "My goal is for each child to want to participate in activities that require them to be physically active."
His is a teaching philosophy that has served McGowan well, and earned him recognition as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for March. As this month's winner, McGowan will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance, and his school will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
A physical education major, McGowan holds a bachelor's of science degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
He earned his National Board Certification in 2006, and was a presenter at a national conference in Birmingham. In 2004, he was Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
"Allen's calm demeanor, coupled with his high expectations and an almost intuitive sense for scaffolding for success made Oak Mountain the perfect place to include my daughter, Beth -- a delightful young lady with Down syndrome," said Kathy Olive, a reading specialist at Oak Mountain Elementary. "Allen sees the potential in every child and proceeds to model, guide and coach that child until he or she reaches beyond the limits other adults may impose."
"As a classroom teacher and reading specialist, I appreciate the fact that our P.E. program is an integral component of our academic day," Olive added.
"When Allen and his colleagues incorporate literacy practices such as a word wall, when he reads aloud to a class and creates situations based on that piece of literature, I feel that MY work is valued."
During 2007, 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.