Thanks to technology, students are more engaged than ever in the classroom and have a stronger voice in their own education. One teacher at Madison Cross Roads Elementary in Toney is making sure that happens.
Sarah Ward is always thinking ahead, using the latest gadgets to keep her fifth graders on their toes.
"Not only is Miss Ward able to keep the entire class moving forward, but some of the kids that are advanced to their peers, she continues to challenge them as well," said parent Bethany Ducote.
Ducote said Ward doesn't spoon-feed the kids information, either.
"She lets them figure it out for themselves, which is really great," Ducote added.
That's just one of many reasons Ducote nominated Ms. Ward for WHNT News 19's Tools for Teachers initiative.
The principal of Madison Cross Roads says Ward's hard work goes outside of the classroom, too.
"She spends a lot of her time shopping for kids, even for the kids that might need something they may not be able to get at home," said Mitzi Dennis.
It sounds like Ms. Ward could use a $319 surprise.
"Miss Ducote has nominated you for the Tools for Teachers for WHNT News 19," we told her. "You are the recipient of that and you are so deserving of that because you go above and beyond and so you have won $319!"
"I am extremely humbled and extremely thankful," said Ward, after the classroom cheered. "Words can't express how much I appreciate it and I know these kids do too."
Where is the cash headed for Classroom 135?
"I will have to talk with the kids," Ward said.
"Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!" they called out in reply.
"We have to spend it on instructional things. We have to teach kids in this next generation to be creative problem solvers," said Ward. "We are experiencing things in our society that we have never experience before as far as the integration of technology."
And before we could pack up our news gear, that technology was back out.
"Tell me class: Lateral and equal angular," said Ward.
Congratulations, Ms. Ward
If you would like to nominate a deserving educator for WHNT News 19's Tools for Teachers initiative, please visit this page and fill out the form.