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Subjects Taught
Reading

Education

Master of Arts in Education, University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama, 2003 

Bachelor of Science in Education, University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama, 1998



Experience

Classroom Experience: 

Classroom teacher, Threadgill Primary School, Sheffield, Alabama, 1998-1999. Teaching responsibilities included teaching self- contained 2nd grade.

Classroom teacher, L.E. Wilson Elementary School, Sheffield, Alabama, 1999-2000. Teaching responsibilities included teaching self-contained 3rd grade.

Classroom teacher, McBride Elementary School, Muscle Shoals, Alabama 2000-present. Teaching responsibilities included teaching self- contained 5th grade and presently teaching departmentalized 5th grade reading and language. 

Professional Association Memberships:

Alabama Education Association, 1998 to present

Muscle Shoals Education Association, 2000 to present. Past vice-president and past president of association.

International Reading Association, since 2008

Alabama Reading Association, since 2008

Staff Development Leadership Activity:

Conference Presenter, Gulf Coast Conference on the Teaching of Writing, 2008

Presenter, UNA Inservice Center on Writing Instruction (Florence, Alabama; Jasper, Alabama), 2007

Presenter, Muscle Shoals City Schools, Writing Instruction, 2007

Staff Trainer, McBride Elementary School, Positive Behavior Support, 2006

Staff Trainer, McBride Elementary School, Writing Instruction, 2006

Staff Trainer, McBride Elementary School, Word Study for ARI, 2003

Mentor Teacher, McBride Elementary School, 2007 and 2008

Supervising Teacher of Student Intern, 2004 and 2006

Honors:

2000-2001 Northwest Alabama Reading Teacher of the Year

2009-2010 McBride Elementary School Teacher of the Year

2009-2010 Muscle Shoals Elementary Teacher of the Year



Bio

 Cheryl Lockhart is a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a teacher.  She gives a view into her philosophy of teaching:

               Dr. Robert Young, professor in the University of North Alabama's education department, started class one day with this quote: "Teaching is a very easy job to do poorly, but a very difficult job to do well".  He has no doubt been correct in my best estimation of on-the-job experience. However, when the job is done well, the reward means more than the paycheck at the end of the month. 

                I believe that teaching is more than imparting knowledge or presenting material.  It's modeling in the truest sense of the word.  That modeling begins on the very first day of school.  Have I modeled sincerity as I've welcomed the new students to my class? Have I modeled kindness when after the first week of class, I give a pardon for forgetting a procedure?  Have I modeled compassion when dealing with a child's behavior because I know he doesn't wake up in the same loving atmosphere that I do every morning? Have I modeled understanding when a student has given their best and yet still doesn't meet the standard?  Have I modeled forgiveness after a confrontation by not holding a grudge and truly "forgive and forget"?  I believe that unless students know you care about them as a person, they will not work to achieve to their potential.  Children are excellent at telling the difference between what is real and what is pretended. 

                In failing to prepare, you prepare to fail.  Teaching is not a job done "off the cuff".  Even after teaching the same curriculum for ten years, I find new material and new methods. No two days are ever the same even if the same material is presented because the way students hear and respond to the material is always different.  It is amazing to me that even when presenting the same material twice in a day; it can seem brand new based on how the students respond.  The road that is traveled changes constantly because of that fact. As a teacher, I have to be prepared to lead and at the same time, I have to be prepared to follow the direction in which the class needs to go.  What may be a strength for one group could be a weakness for another.  Preparation is critical to being able to recognize the needs and then tailor the lesson to meet those needs. 

                I believe that organization is the skill that will maintain effective instruction and student achievement.  Teachers are not only responsible for instructional objectives each day; we are responsible for supervision and money collection.  We are responsible for maintaining good health guidelines, and for staying within a schedule during the day.  We are responsible for keeping records of all kinds, for maintaining classroom management, and for long term academic calendars that ensure students are ready for state assessments.  Organization is evident in an effective teacher.

                Modeling of the character traits, being prepared, and organization are all strengths that I find have helped me to have success as a teacher.  When I am working with students, I try to think about how I would want a teacher to treat one of my own children.  I ask myself, "Would I approve as a parent if my child were treated in this way?" and I use that as a way of reflecting on decisions I have made concerning student behavior in my classroom.  I think of school as a hobby as well as my job.  I enjoy spending time preparing for class and I enjoy organizing my classroom so that students have all they need to succeed at any given time. I realize that being flexible is important to being a good teacher and so I am always prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Sometimes what is best for students is not what is easy for the teacher.  I try to put the students' needs as a focus for whatever I am planning or organizing.

                Some of the most rewarding times I've had as a teacher really have nothing to do with academics although I've had students to achieve great things.  I think of a student who had major emotional and behavioral issues and how we were able to help determine that he was being over medicated and how proud he was to be able to finally fit in the classroom and feel like a normal child instead of literally pulling his hair out.  I think about a student who was very different from his classmates and who had no friends coming to my classroom for fifth grade. He was a "weirdo".  I think about his grandmother telling me that he finally felt accepted by his peers that year.  I think about a girl who had white hair and white skin and wore dark glasses because of visual impairment and made the remark, "Everybody talks at lunch, but they never talk to me".  During one of our class meetings, my students and I discussed this and that young lady began to feel accepted by her classmates, included, and important for the very first time in her school life.  Those kinds of rewards mean the most to me.  I have told students that in ten years, they won't remember who they stood in line with at the restroom.  What will be remembered is how they were treated by each other. Dr.  Jeff Wooten, our school superintendent, had a slogan a couple years ago:  Keep the main thing the main thing.  I believe that making sure that students know you care about them as a person is keeping the main thing the main thing! That is how I demonstrate my beliefs about teaching.