CLEVELAND ELEMENTARY'S PROTZ NAMED ALFA TEACHER OF MONTH
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- If there's anything Annette Protz has learned on her way to becoming a National Board Certified teacher, it's that textbooks alone can't hold a student's interest and secondly, you can't educate a half a child.
"I believe in my students, and have learned that making a difference in their lives means being involved in their lives -- listening when they want to talk, visiting them when a grandparent passes away and celebrating with them when they win a football game," said Protz, who's been teaching second-graders at Cleveland Elementary School since 1999. "You cannot educate half a child. They must know you care before they will listen to what you have to say."
It was Protz's devotion to her students that earned her recognition as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for March. As this month's winner, she will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance, and her school will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
In learning about her students, Protz also learned how best to reach them -- and it's not necessarily with a textbook. "With competition from the latest computer games, movies and Xbox, students find textbooks uninteresting when compared to the interaction and technology they want to find in the classroom," said Protz, who holds a master's degree in science from the University of Alabama and a bachelor's in science from Jacksonville State. "Teachers must realize times have changed."
That's why Protz has initiated a project at her school to raise $63,979 to place interactive "whiteboards" (touch-controlled screens that work with a projector and a computer) in every K-6 classroom at Cleveland Elementary.
"Mrs. Protz has attributes that principals attempt to develop in his/her staff to maximize teaching and learning," said Dr. David Bradford, principal at Cleveland Elementary School. "Rarely does one individual excel in so many of those qualities as has Mrs. Annette Protz."
During 2008, 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 AlfaFarmers.org.