Tucker was named the system winner for the Jacksonville State University Teacher Hall of Fame for the 2014-2015 school year, but she said her biggest accomplishment is making a difference in the lives of her students. She said she hopes new teachers choose to make a difference every time they step into their classrooms.
“Choose to be the reason your students desire to wake up early each morning,” Tucker said. “Choose to be the person that your students want to make happy. Aspire to inspire your students.”
For parents, a little time and a little effort is all that’s required to help a child succeed. A drastic change can happen when some time is spent assisting your child academically, Tucker said.
“If you are academically challenged in a particular subject, commit to learning the content right along with your child,” she said. “Believe it or not, your child will not care about how much you know until they know that you care.”
If a child has behavior issues, it’s important to seek out the root of those issues. Tucker said establishing an understanding with students and what causes them to misbehave can help a teacher reach beyond the surface.
“I speak individually with students, inquiring of their home life, likes, dislikes, etc. In the same conversation, I express to students that I believe that they are capable of being successful citizens in the world, and I give them my word that I will do all I can to help them succeed in my class and beyond,” she said. “Once a troubled student is able to sense and feel my genuine concern for them, there is a complete turnaround in their behavior.”
Sticky classroom situations aside, Tucker said she’d still be working within the educational realm, even if she wasn’t a teacher.
“There is no other place I’d rather be,” she said. “If, over the course of 25 years, I could touch the life of one child, then at least I would know that I have done some good for the world at large.”
As for what drew her to the Tuscaloosa area?
“The University of Alabama – Need I say more? Roll Tide.”