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Taylor Carpenter is the Valley's Top Teacher!

One Legacy Elementary teacher is getting the reputation of 'setting the bar high’ for her little learners.

MADISON, Ala. — One of the biggest steps a parent makes in their child’s life is enrolling them in kindergarten, and a Madison-area teacher is getting the reputation of setting the ‘bar high’ for the little learners. This week’s Valley’s Top Teacher, from Legacy Elementary School, is Taylor Carpenter!

Taylor said this is the first time she’s ever taught this grade level in Alabama.

“I wanted to get the foundation of reading, and knowing that this [kindergarten] is where it begins. Pre-K is very important as well, but you know, this is like 'real school' now,” said Carpenter.

She has seven years of education under her belt, previously teaching Pre-K.

Carpenter tries to keep the expectation of learning more engaging. “We do lots of centers. We’re doing a game right now," she explained. "Just anything to get them up and moving and interacting with each other. I love to meet with them in small groups and get them to interact with them there. We also get to play games, read books and all those things.”

Carpenter said the most challenging part is teaching the ‘littles’ to be on their best behavior. “I try to have a lot of positive reinforcement and just redirecting their behavior. Not so much punishing them, you know, but just teaching them. They need to be taught we’re in school now, this is how we need to act.”

Carpenter’s principal, Katherine Rogers, believes she’s a good fit for the kids.

“Well if I can build a kindergarten teacher, I think that Ms. Carpenter has all the perfect ingredients and characteristics. She is very kind to her students. She absolutely loves the work that she does and that is reflective in the interaction that she has not only with the kids with the other teachers on her grade level as well as the parents,” said Rogers.

Carpenter says it’s the enthusiasm from her students have for learning, especially on math night.

“I had some of my kids, come to me and their parents were like; they made us come here first. They wanted to see you first. Knowing that they enjoy coming to school, and they enjoy being with me and we enjoy learning together. It really means a lot.”

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