TONEY, Ala. — If you’ll go back in time as a student, experiments are what made science much more fun! It’s one of the lessons some students at Sparkman Middle School look forward to when they enter one teacher’s class, and it's why they nominated her. Meet this week’s Valley’s Top Teacher, Abby Whiting!
For Abby Whiting, teaching is part of her universe. “Ever since I was able to work at the age of sixteen I worked in childcare, so teaching was just a natural decision for me.”
It’s Whiting’s first year of teaching and she just moved to the Rocket City. “I was born and raised outside of Atlanta, Georgia.”
Science is where she can really get hands-on. “The opportunity to be a science teacher was very exciting for me because I was coming into a new place with a lot of science buzz around it, and I knew that those meaningful connections in the classrooms were going to be easily made in my science classroom too. So, and that’s just a great experience for me,” Whiting said.
While it’s a great experience for Whiting, experiments are what’s great for students too. “I always look forward to the experiments. 'Cause we have an experiment every so often and I look forward to that and it’s fun,” student Amari McNeal said.
So when McNeal had the opportunity to pick his favorite teacher he did not hesitate. “She’s really nice and fun to be around, and her personality is really good.”
Whiting believes the time she spends with her students matters.
“I really build my lessons around learning beyond the classroom. That is extremely important to me. I mean they’re only in my class Monday through Friday for less than an hour and if I can just have them leave my classroom so that they can take what they learned in the classroom and take it to their homelives and outside of school. That’s all that matters to me. So, that’s really what I designed my lessons around, just making those connections outside of the classroom,” she said.