Andalusia Teacher is a Class Act

Brenda Mooney teaches children with learning disabilities at Pleasant Home School in Andalusia. "Everyone learns differently. Maybe they learn best by seeing, or writing, or hearing or tape," she says.

Mooney says watching kids catch on to lessons is one of the great parts of her job. She even helps facilitate learning in other classrooms. Pleasant Home assistant principal Jimmy Reeves says, "just the way that she handles each individual child, she seems to be able to tell what a kid needs, by sitting and talking with them for a few minutes. And then she can help the other teacher that has that child also."

Although her students face special learning hurdles, Mooney urges them to have self-confidence. Some of them go on to take the Alabama High School Graduation Exam and attend college. Mooney says there's a lesson there for all of us, "I think you should always believe in people and try to aid them. Never write anyone off, because everyone can contribute something; and I think sometimes we give up too soon."

Another characteristic of Mooney's is that she gives a lot of herself. She helps drive cancer patients to Montgomery for chemotherapy and cares for everyone she meets. 8th grader Kandais Mathews says, "she asks you how your day is and she's just very interested in your life. She's interested in your parents and everything else."

Mooney is also active in the community. She signs for deaf people at her church; and one year she made Easter dresses for the children of a family in need.