Originally from Vernon, Turner moved to Tuscaloosa to earn both her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree at The University of Alabama. She has taught in Tuscaloosa County Schools for 12 years.
“I have had the privilege of graduating with multiple degrees, earned my National Board of Teaching Certification, and received teaching awards, but nothing compares to witnessing the impact that I have had on my students,” said Turner.
Turner says she was drawn to Maxwell Elementary because of the character the students, faculty, and parents embody. The school has been recognized as a Lighthouse School, and it participates in the “Leader In Me” program, which emphasizes the importance of learning leadership skills as early as kindergarten.
“The end of the school year is always bittersweet,” Turner said. “You have put so much time and love into your class, and you never want them to leave, but you also want to see them move on and grow. It is always refreshing to see those little five-year-olds’ soar on to new levels after they leave your classroom.”
Despite the young age of her students, Turner uses the time she has with her students to teach them important lessons – both for academics and for life. She strives to give each child the confidence to learn on their own path and to not compare themselves to their peers. She believes this confidence comes from feeling valued and encouraged.
“As a kindergarten teacher, you can really see your students grow academically and socially, and become accomplished young adults,” Turner said.
The summer months will not be any less busy for Turner, who will welcome her second child in July. She already has an active three-year-old and is preparing for a whole new group of students in the fall.
As the new school year approaches, Turner encourages teachers who are beginning their first year of teaching to always give their best and be the difference in their students’ lives. She says they should never underestimate the influence of a teacher and their ability to shape their students’ futures.
“My first set of students will graduate next year, and it’s truly an honor to have watched them mature and succeed,” Turner said. “The greatest feeling is to have your former students come and thank you for loving them and still remember their time in your classroom.”