HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — In Mrs. Quanisha Ford's virtual class at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, students don't feel like they are in Huntsville. They feel like they are a star in in Hollywood, California.
"I just love that it makes them feel like they are important and that they are on a red carpet," says Quanisha Ford, the Valley's Top Teacher. "So I also have a Hollywood virtual classroom, a bitmoji classroom."
From Fun Fridays, to celebrities of the week, to inside scavenger hunts, there is never a dull moment in the class of Mrs. Ford. And you never know what character she will show up as..
"I dressed up as a Chef. So we had a virtual book tasting at the Reading Cafe where we have been exploring Fiction and Non-Fiction books," shares Mrs. Ford. "Also two days later I dressed up as a firefighter and just teaching them the importance of fire safety. So doing these things to keep them engaged is my number one priority."
She makes sure her kids feel welcomed and appreciated, as if they were Emmy winning actors.
"Everyday I play music as they are coming on zoom and it really sets the tone for our day," explains Mrs. Ford. "Also, they take surveys in the morning about how they are feeling."
She puts in all of this effort because she truly loves her kids and they love coming to her class!
"I love them so much," smiles Mrs. Ford. "I am always staying on top of them. We have a 100% attendance rate. Sometimes they even join zoom ten to fifteen minutes early, so that means a lot to me as well."
Not only does she care about her students now, but she wants to help them succeed in the future. Back in 2017 she started the non profit "Fordward Foundation" to help high school and college students get scholarships. She has awarded 23 people with scholarships through her foundation.
"The reason that I started that organization is because I had issues with obtaining scholarships, and kind of financial issues, when I was trying to attend college, so giving back to my community was very important to me."
Whether it is dreams of Hollywood lights or dreams of getting a PhD, Mrs. Quanisha Ford encourages her kids to always reach for the stars.
"I want them to know to dream big, to stay focused, and that they can be whatever they want to be," says Mrs. Ford. "I just want them to know that education is very important."
Do you know someone who should be the Valley's Top Teacher? Nominate them by filling out the form below: