ANDALUSIA, AL (WSFA)
Although new to Andalusia Elementary School this year, one teacher named Heather Bailey is changing up the way her students are learning.
For Bailey, learning doesn’t end once you have completed school, and she wants to instill that mindset into her kids.
“Even now that I have graduated and got my masters, I try to learn something, even if it's not instructional, learn something everyday. I want to instill that into my kids, too - just a love for learning," Bailey said.
One way Bailey helps grow her student’s love for learning is by allowing them to be hands on and interactive while in the classroom.
“I don’t like to sit down, and I know a lot of kids don't either. So I think that since I like to move and so do my kids, that makes it, learning, a little bit more fun," Bailey said.
Included in the fun is the frequent question of her student’s “Finger Feeling." Bailey asks each student to put up between one and five fingers on their hand to show how comfortable they are with the lesson they just learned. She uses this method because it helps keep her fourth graders accountable and honest during class.
“At the beginning of the year it takes some teaching because everyone wants to be a five on the very first day and it is okay if you are not a five, but as long as you are growing and feel more comfortable everyday then that means you are reaching your goal," Bailey said.
With five years of teaching under her belt, Bailey has learned you have to enter each new year with a game plan but also be prepared to be flexible at the same time.
“Every kid in every class in every year is going to be different, so you just have to be flexible because they all need to learn differently and you have to be able to address those needs," Bailey said.