PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) --The new school year is barely underway and it's time to roll out the best teachers in Region 8 as our Teacher of the Month salute begins.
For August, we went to Paragould's School of the 21st Century to meet Tammy Cole, our first Teacher of the Month.
The school is a busy place both outside during a recreation period and inside in Cole's classroom. Cole was on her feet leading an energetic song about how to spell "School".
Cole, "Lot's of practice and movement at this age is very important. Letting them explore and learn things through play. We learn a lot through routine and at this age you know practice and practice is the key so lots of practice and movement at this age is very important."
Tammy has been teaching for 28 years, all in Kindergarten and Pre-K. Cole says teaching the little kids suits her personality.
"I enjoy moving around and doing fun things, sometimes silly things." she says.
When teachers and parents look at Cole what do they see?
Cole, "Energetic, always trying new things, trying to do what's best for kids."
A classroom of 4-year olds draws the eyes every where, pictures, drawings number lines and no TV's or SMART boards. Cole says for pre-school kids there is practically no technology allowed but they do have a computer in the class room.
After an exercise period the kids broke down into individual or group learning areas. Even though these kids may look like they are playing, there is learning going on. Cole says she knows when the light bulb goes on.
Cole, "They'll be struggling with something then all of a sudden it's like. "Oh I get it!!" Then they will go off and show their friends. They learn a lot from their friends."
School has only been is session for a couple of weeks. What did Cole like about the first day?
Cole, "All the excitement, all the smiling faces. Just being able to learn their names and make them all feel welcome."
Cole says one important tool for her is excellent parent communication.
"Being able to communicate with the parents. I talk to the parents because you know, they're the key." Cole said. "How they perceive the school, if they're positive about it then the kids are usually positive about it."
It takes a special person to be a teacher and those that lay the educational foundation for our kids are very special people. Cole says that even at this age they are very different people.
Cole, "Some of them will learn this real quick, some will take a little longer. Just being patient and giving them time."
If you would like to nominate your favorite teacher scroll down to the middle of our home page and click on the Teacher of the Year link and fill out the form.