Search form

Teacher of the Day

Name:  Luann Gladden

School: Gaston High School

Subject: English

State:  Alabama

What or who inspired you to become a teacher?

My own high school teachers become dearer to me with each year I teach. The effort they gave to their teaching amazes me when I realize the limitations they faced in a small country school. Even though teaching was the last profession I ever thought I'd pursue at the time of my high school graduation, my opportunity to go back to my alma mater and substitute with my former teachers inspired me to devote my life to education as my own teachers had done.

How are things different for you now, compared to when you first started teaching?

Everything is different. I didn't even know that there was a course of study as I was merely handed a textbook and a piece of chalk when I was hired.

Twenty-two years later, I have a link on my Web site for my online textbook and give homework via the Web site and text messaging. The ability to engage my students has made all the difference in both my students' interest and my own in the classroom.

What advice would you give to a new or struggling teacher?

When sharing advice with new or struggling teachers, I remind them that their own negative attitude will be reflected in their students' behavior. Maintaining a positive attitude and controlling my voice are the most difficult aspects on some days, but a smile often breaks down the negativity that can build between a teacher and a student.

In addition, I suggest that teacher not get too fond of any particular lesson plan strategy. Letting go of old teaching habits is difficult. Change can be a teacher's best friend.

My best day in the classroom was when…

a visitor from the Southern Regional Education Board popped into my classroom unannounced. Knowing that my lesson plan on iambic pentameter and various poetic meters had failed in the past, I jumped into the lesson with excitement anyway. Before I knew it, my students were beating out rhythms on their desks and laughing along with our visitor as they guessed songs using the same rhythm, while I played clips from the songs. It was a fun day, and the kids loved being observed.

The best compliment I ever received was...

when I recently received "Teacher of the Year" from my school. Someone posted congratulations on my Facebook wall and before I knew it, many former students had added their own thank yous and favorite memories of times in my classroom.

What's your favorite part of the school year?

When students present projects. They're proud of what they have accomplished and I'm proud of what they have accomplished. It gives me a chance to take pictures of them and post those memories on my Web site.

What is your one must-have item for the classroom?

I love to use popular music in class, so my speaker/projector system often pulls students from  the outside in to my classroom to see what I'm playing now.

What do you eat for breakfast on school days?

When I went to London, I discovered yogurt and granola. Every morning, I treat myself to a great yogurt/granola/fruit mix and a cup of coffee. It helps me get ready for the day.

What movie or TV show do you secretly love?

Big Bang Theory

Want to be considered for EducationWorld's Teacher of the Day series? Click here.

Education World®
Copyright © 2011 Education World