Our teachers are amazing, which is why we share the story of a school’s Teacher of the Year every week ... please help us celebrate 2022 Arnold Mill Elementary School Teacher of the Year Alisha Talley!
Arnold Mill Elementary School Teacher of the Year Alisha Talley’s favorite lesson for her fourth-graders is “The Best Part of Me.”
At the start of the school year, students read the book of the same name and then discuss how everyone has strengths and abilities. In Ms. Talley’s classroom, the children give many different answers, as for half of her 15-year career, she has chosen to teach inclusion classes. Inclusion classrooms include children with special needs with children who do not have learning or physical challenges.
They talk about their physical strengths, like playing soccer or running fast. And they talk about internal strengths, like being a good friend and showing kindness.
After the discussion, the students then complete an English Language Arts assignment to write in their journal about their strengths and abilities, and then write a short essay about their best part. Ms. Talley takes a photo of what the student has chosen as his or her best part – like feet for being a fast runner or ears for being a good listener. The essay and photo are pasted onto a larger piece of paper for display in the hallway.
“It really helps to set the stage for a year of learning and appreciation of oneself and peers, as we appreciate the different strengths and abilities we all bring to our classroom family,” she said.
This lesson illustrates one of Ms. Talley’s greatest strengths, according to her colleagues: “She is always welcoming of all students … she makes all students feel proud of their successes, no matter how big or small.”
In her own words: “Trust and understand that teachers truly have the best intentions for their students at heart.”
Special thanks to our 2022 Legacy Makers: CCSD Teachers of the Year Celebration's Presenting Sponsors: Cherokee County Educational Foundation, Credit Union of Georgia, Northside Hospital Cherokee and Shottenkirk Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Canton.