Sarah Shaneyfelt used to be a student at Hartselle Junior High School. Now she is molding a new generation of students by always encouraging them and using positive affirmations.
“Even if they don’t get it right, I find something good about their answer,” explains Mrs. Shaneyfelt, the Valley’s Top Teacher. “So I am constantly praising them, like great job, or I really like how you answered that, but let’s kind of take it from this point of view.”
Mrs. Shaneyfelt has genuine relationships with her seventh graders in her English class, and says it is because she truly cares about each and every one of them.
“Junior High is such a hard time with all of these different transitions,” explains Sarah Shaneyfelt. “I want them to know that there is someone they can count on if they need it.”
“She is really Christian-like, she really is so loving,” smiles Lanie Mae Morton, a seventh grade student. “I cannot even explain in words how much she has made an impact on my life.”
She always tries to keep class fun and interesting. That’s why she does hands-on activities like “Trashketball.”
“That was fun because if we answered the correct answer we got to shoot the paper basketball,” explains Brady Baylis, a seventh grade student. “If we made it, we got a point for our team.”
Reading is Mrs. Shaneyfelt’s passion and why she wanted to be an English teacher. She even has a personal library where her kids can check out books from her room.
“I want them to be able to connect to the characters because I feel like you can build empathy, and when you do that, it prepares you for the real world,” says Mrs. Shaneyfelt.
Not only is she a mentor to her students, she is also a role model to many of them.
“Especially when she teaches, because I want to be a teacher when I grow up so that is exactly how I want to be when I become a teacher,” shares Lanie Mae.
“I love the kids. I love reading with them, I love seeing them fall in love with something, or get excited about something, and cheering them on,” explains Sarah Shaneyfelt. “It is a great place to work and I really do have the best kids.”