Spirit Of Alabama

There are plenty of wonderful teachers around West Alabama, but today we’re talking about one in particular.

Woodland Forrest Elementary School’s Katie Steadman was recently chosen as the Tuscaloosa City Schools Teacher of the Year, and now she’s in the running for Alabama Teacher of the Year.

Steadman, who teaches kindergarten, is only in her second year of teaching, but clearly she’s already made an impression.

“I think the students need to be excited about learning, and if I can show them how much fun I have learning, the students will want to learn,” Steadman said. “And they’ll be more willing to learn and will eventually love learning. And, I think that just being enthusiastic and positive in every interaction helps a lot.”

A big part of kindergarten is learning to read, and Steadman said that while her students are all at different levels she ensures they’re all doing their best.

“High expectations are very important,” she said. “You can plan all you want, but if you don’t have high expectations with your students they’re going to fall short most times, so just keep your expectations high.”

Steadman is a University of Alabama graduate, but the Mobile native said she dreamed of teaching long before making the move to Tuscaloosa.

“One of the reasons I decided to be a teacher was in second grade I said I want to be a teacher because I want to be like Sister Joan Loraine,” Steadman said. “She made everything fun and exciting but also meaningful.”

Steadman said she wanted to be those things for others, even when she was in elementary school.

“I hope that at the end of the day I’ve instilled a love of learning in my students,” she said. “Then I’ll consider my life to be successful.”

Woodland Forrest Principal Brian Rose in his second year at the elementary school too, and one of his first decisions as principal was hiring Steadman. She was definitely the right choice.

“Her experience level is irrelevant at this point because she comes into this wanting to do it so much,” Rose said. “She’s smart and researched-based, and she really cares about what she does and how that translates to all the students in her room.”

While Steadman is the Tuscaloosa City Schools Teacher of the Year and in the running for Alabama Teacher of the Year, her reputation as one of the best is already well established.

If you have someone you’d like us to feature in our Spirit of Alabama reports, email us at spiritofalabama@wvua23.com.

Categories: Local News, Spirit of Alabama