"it's very rewarding to see how they start the year and then to see on a daily basis how they grow and blossom," says teacher Patti Smith. She is the first teacher in many of her students' lives. She teaches kindergarten at Coosada Elementary and is well suited for the job.
Principal Charlotte Whetstone says, "she is very loving and helpful to her students. All the parents just love her. She's great to work with new teachers and to help them and to work with her peers and she's just a very special person."
Along with teaching kindergartners, Smith also instructs college students who are heading to kindergarten classrooms themselves as future teachers. She equips them with the tools they'll need for success.
Smith says, "one (tool) I would put up at the top of the list is to understand the children in this age group, all the areas in their development. Not just their cognitive development, just the brain, but to know about all of their areas of development, because they've got to teach every part of the child, not just one part of it."