"I love to see them learn. I love to help them learn," says Cindy Sams. She teaches at Tallassee Elementary School. She takes extra steps to make sure her young students get a strong foundation.
Principal Wayne Pressley says, "she has stayed late with tutoring some students and she makes a lot of calls to parents; has a lot of conferences with parents. If a student has not achieved what she feels is an appropriate level she will go back and re-teach that child."
Sams has been a teacher for 18 years. She says students today are more sophisticated and come to her knowing more. Now she's taking part in a new trend called looping. She's taught her current class for both kindergarten and first grade.
Sams says, "I knew where they were right at the end of kindergarten, then I was able on the first day here to start where they were. I knew where each one was in their reading level; where they were in math and we didn't lose any time backtracking."
Since her classroom is the first one students ever visit, Sams works hard to make sure it's an enjoyable place. "I've always wanted to make my room a special place away from home; where they feel comfortable and relaxed and are comfortable with me and know that I'm here to help them and guide them and teach them and love them," she says.
Pressley adds, "she's always going down the hall smiling and patting the little children on the heads and getting hugs from other students. She's just a joy to have around the school."
Sams serves on Tallassee Elementary's building based support team; it suggests policies on how the school should operate.