Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers: Al Elliott

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Spotlight On Outstanding Teachers: Al Elliott 

Meet The Teacher Champions!


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Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.
 
Al Elliot is a committed educator, with 17 years in the classroom, and currently teaching 5th grade (all subjects).  He holds a Masters of Elementary Education, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Education at University of Alabama at Birmingham. 
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So, without further ado…let's meet a champion!
 

QKM: Why did you choose to become a teacher?
AE: I chose to become a teacher because I enjoy the feeling of being able to change the world.  Young people, for better or for worse, will inherit the planet and eventually run it.  I like the idea of having something to do with shaping the minds that will change the world.

QKM: What is the biggest highlight from your classroom this year?
AE: I'd have to have to say that the biggest highlight from this school year is the feeling of community that was established among my students.  My students were very supportive of their classmates.  They even formed a class band and performed in the school talent show playing a desk, recorder and dodge balls.  Close second would be the students wanting to bring their own devices to school to do school work and not just play games.  Many students in my class had access to a "better" device [than] the nooks that were provided by the school.  Students were working on Google Docs on their iPods, iPads, phones and Chromebooks that they brought to school.  

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QKM: Tell us about  a teacher who inspired you. How did they do it? What made them great?
AEI remember my high school English teacher Mr. Nevett.  Not only was he an extremely well dressed educator, he was also an artist and a man that wasn't afraid to buck the system every now and again and stand on what he thought was best for his students.  I still remember the slogan he made up for the standardized tests that were given when I was in high school.  "School, a place where education is encouraged and SAT is God."

QKM: What is really hard about teaching, and how do you deal with it?
AE: The hardest part about teaching is to implement programs that are mandated you participate in during the school year.  There are some scripted programs out there, that seem to take the creativity teachers have out of the classroom.  To deal with this challenge, I make sure I'm familiar with the standards that are to be covered and let the activities we do in class work towards meeting the standards and objectives and not just cover the mandated programs and hope the kids get it.  I also invite suggestions from the students about how we, as a class, can meet the objectives that must be covered.  When students know they have a choice in how they present or research a topic, they seem to respond with more excitement.

QKM: Thanks Al! 

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