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April 11, 2011   Email to Friend 

By Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
April 11, 2011

Janie Mohajerin
MONTGOMERY, Ala. --  While it's not every day that people are rewarded for doing the right thing, one Montgomery teacher knows that a little reward now and again is just the ticket to keeping students engaged and excited about learning.

"In many cases, motivating students to maintain integrity and good behavior can play a large role in their success within the classroom," said Janie Mohajerin, English teacher and department chair at Georgia Washington Junior High School. "Not only do I motivate within my classroom, but within the grade level and through collaboration with other teachers as well. I implemented the 'Smile-a-Gram' program at our school, where teachers mail postcards to five different students each week to encourage them or thank them for being a great student."

Motivation doesn't end with postcards, however. "For students who have shown exceptional character and behavior in the classroom, we throw 'bashes' for them -- hosting dances, board game parties, trips to the movie theater and ice cream parties."

It's for her forward-thinking, often collaborative motivational skills that Mohajerin earned her designation as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for April. As April's honoree, she will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance. Her school, a division of Montgomery Public Schools, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Described by Georgia Washington Principal Deirdre Gulley as a strong educator with unique talents, Mohajerin is an asset to both her school and the community. "Her collegiality and assistance has made her a valuable faculty member," said Gulley. "She enthusiastically accepts responsibilities outside the classroom and volunteered to chair several committees and clubs."

Mohajerin earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in secondary education and language arts from Auburn University Montgomery. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in instructional leadership from the University of Alabama. A National Board Certified teacher and member of the Montgomery County Mentoring Program, Mohajerin also serves in Eastmont Baptist Church's Women's Ministry, the Guatemala Mission Team and the Eastmont College Ministry Board.

During 2011, Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation are honoring one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state board districts, 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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