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January 02, 2009   Email to Friend 

By Kim Hall
(334) 613-4187
January 02, 2009

April Edwards Kennamer
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- It's not every teacher who would relish the idea of teaching a combined class of third- and fourth-graders. But April Edwards Kennamer, makes it sound as simple as one-two-three.

That's because Kennamer has three basic steps that promote learning, steps that not only teach her students, but have also earned her recognition as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for January. As the monthly winner, she will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance, and her school, Paint Rock Valley High School in Jackson County, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmer's Federation.

The first step she utilizes is to act as a guide to her students, believing self-discovery creates a better learning environment. She also uses curiosity to direct a student's learning ability, allowing students to generate ideas and set goals. "When students have input in the curriculum, they are motivated to work hard and master the skills necessary to reach their goals," she says.

The final step in Kennamer's teaching style is "promoting respect for all things." She believes the "sharing of ideas and a careful approach to discipline" will increase her students' respect for themselves, others and their environment. "I believe children have greater respect for their teachers, their peers and the lessons presented when they feel safe and sure of what is expected of them," said Kennamer, who holds a master's degree in education from Alabama A&M University and a bachelor's from Athens State University.

Charlotte German, a Woodville High School teacher and former colleague, praised Kennamer's teaching skills. "She always has a double class (two grades in one class), which I have personally said many times I would not want for my own children," said Graham. "One year, however, my son attended the school where she teaches and had the good fortune to be in her class. What she managed to do with third- and fourth-graders is amazing."

During 2009, Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmer's Federation will honor one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state 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.

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