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October 31, 2008   Email to Friend 

OPELIKA MIDDLE'S HOLLADAY CHOSEN ALFA TEACHER OF MONTH
Lindsey Rickard
(334) 613-4187
October 31, 2008

Gayle Holladay of Opelika Middle
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A wise teacher once said, "All students can learn; however, all students do not learn the same way." That teacher is Gayle Holladay, Alfa's Teacher of the Month for November.

Holladay, a sixth-grade math teacher at Opelika Middle School, incorporates several techniques to meet all her students' learning styles.

"Using technological and hands-on approaches, cooperative learning, and discourse gives all my students the opportunity to succeed," Holladay said. "In my classroom, the focus is on the how-and-why process -- not just the correct answer."

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.

Holladay, who holds a master's of science from Troy State University, believes knowledge can be taken back to the foundations built in previous grades.

"Learning makes more sense and is easier to remember and apply when it is connected to what students already know," she said.

Holladay says the most important part of her lessons is at the beginning, when motivation occurs.

"If I can connect, entice and motivate my students' interest, then exploring and guiding their learning is meaningful, and understanding is accomplished," Holladay said.

Holladay is also the district leader and presenter for the TEAM Math Initiative (Transforming East Alabama Mathematics) where she helps other teachers find ways to get the best out of their students.

Marsha Teel, a fellow sixth-grade teacher at Opelika Middle School, says Holladay, "makes learning fun for her students as well as the teachers she instructs."

During 2009, 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.


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