talks March 9 about cause and effect during an 11th-grade English class at Hokes Bluff High School
Hokes Bluff High School teacher Marcia Farabee will be a lifelong learner.
"My kids leave my class and my brain hurts," said Farabee
, who's been chosen the Etowah County Schools'
Teacher of the Year for the secondary grades.
"We don't open a textbook to answer questions."
, who teaches 11th- and 12th-grade basic and Advanced Placement English classes, said learning is about applying concepts and thinking.
"In this new technology age, these kids can leave the classroom and go find anything they want to know," she
"It's not about me teaching them knowledge, it's about me teaching them how to think and what to do with that knowledge."
Application is key in Farabee's classroom, where she
incorporates real-world situations or creative projects to teach English and analytical thinking.
students also may get a dose of history, fine arts or math education in the lesson, too.
"The discovery/inquiry method is the way to teach.
Student-centered simulations make my classroom a vibrant learning community, one that I love going into each day and feel proud to leave each afternoon," Farabee
wrote in her
philosophy of teaching.
"I know that I made history or English come alive for my students, and more importantly, I helped my students come alive for learning."
One project, Farabee
said, is the fruit beauty pageant her
students will put on when learning about propaganda.
said the students will use grammar, speech, persuasion and creative skills while trying to convince their classmates of the most beautiful fruit.
also has tapped into her
students' competitive nature with a stock market game, which helps them examine cause and effect relationships and make inferences.
Students in Farabee's class also work together on collaborative projects because, she
said, they need to learn to work together because they'll have to work with others in the future.
That's a lesson she learned in her six years working in human resources before she began teaching.
been teaching now for 15 years, after beginning her
career in 1995.
She's also now the Etowah County School system's lead AP teacher and coaches middle school basketball and high school track and volleyball.
believes a lot of students in her
AP class are smarter than her
"I tell them (that) you have more intelligence than I do, but there are skills I can teach you, my life experiences (I) can teach you," she
students always are coming up with new ways of thinking and perspectives she
hasn't thought of.
"There's a great poem by Langston Hughes called 'Theme for English B'...
I teach it to my kids all the time," Farabee
said, adding that the poem focuses on a black student being in a white classroom in Harlem.
"At the end of the poem he
says 'I learn from you as you learn from me, although you're older and white and somewhat more free,'" she