DCL Teacher of the Month: Tiffany Cargile, Westwood Elementary School Featured

Tiffany Cargile is DCL's September 2017 Teacher of the Month. Cargile teaches kindergarten at Westwood Elementary. Tiffany Cargile is DCL's September 2017 Teacher of the Month. Cargile teaches kindergarten at Westwood Elementary. Tiffany Cargile

Tiffany Cargile isn’t interested in boring lesson plans. As a kindergarten teacher at Westwood Elementary, she said she tries to keep her students' attention with more interactive lessons.

“When I go to plan my lessons, I always try to take into consideration the different learning styles and levels of each child in my classroom,” she said. “I strive to make sure I meet the needs of every learner. I try to incorporate music, movement, and technology as much as possible. The more senses we can use, the better the new information will ‘stick’ to our brain.”

Cargile received her degree in Elementary Education from The University of Alabama and has taught kindergarten at Westwood since her career began. Though she’s been at the school for almost 13 years, she said she hasn’t lost sight of the most important thing – her students.

“When I am at school, I am dedicated to my students. I pray and strive to be what each of my students need from me,” she said. “We learn, stay busy, have fun and give our best.”

Though she prioritizes her students, she said she tries to keep work at work and to be as present in her home life as possible. Cargile says the support she receives from her family keeps her anchored in her role as a teacher.

“I try not to take the stress of the job home with me, just like I try not to take the stress of life to school with me. When I am at home, I am all about my family. I want to be the best wife and mother that I can be,” she said. “I adore my husband and daughter and appreciate the time we have together. We sit down at the table every night for dinner and talk about our day. We love sharing stories and being silly together. They are a great support system and are always eager to help out in my classroom whenever needed.”

Cargile said for parents looking to help their students with school, reading to children in the home at an early age is always an advantage. If the parent shows an excitement for education and school, as well as a love of learning, the child will too.

When her kindergarteners are having trouble grasping a lesson, Cargile said she tries to pinpoint what they don’t understand. Clearing up any confusion can happen in a number of ways.

“I ask them to explain to me, in their own words, what they know about the skill/topic, and I use their prior knowledge as a starting point to expand from there. Often times, they just need to hear the information explained more than one time or in a different way,” she said. “Another great resource is having another student explain it to their friend in a ‘kid friendly’ way. Incorporating visuals and manipulatives are also very helpful, because it gives students a way to show/see their learning so they can better understand.”

What would be the best school supply parents can give Cargile? She says that's easy: pens that range the color of the rainbow. But she adds if she wasn't heading a classroom (and constantly scrounging for pens), she’d most likely be a lawyer or real estate agent.  And if she was an animal?

“I have always said, if I could be any animal, I would be an octopus, so I could do eight things at a time and live in the ocean,” she said. 

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Tori Linville

A graduate of The University of Alabama, Tori is a professional in the publishing industry and brings strong writing and editing skills while contributing creative ideas, contemporary concepts, and editorial experience to her varied projects.

Website: www.linkedin.com/in/avlinville

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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