RPECEC Teacher of the Year
Alison Lamb was named the Teacher of the Year at the Rosa Parks Early Childhood Education Center.
Lamb decided to become a teacher during college, after spending summers working at summer camp.
“I wanted to work among colleagues with a common goal and within a system that supported children and families,” Lamb said. “I chose the classroom setting because of the opportunity to have an ongoing relationship with students that would grow over the course of the year. I chose to become a teacher so that I could play a role in helping my students discover the world around them and their place in it.”
Lamb said, “In my classroom, students have the freedom to play and learn in a way that is best for them. I spend the first several months of school building relationships with each child as they learn to be away from their family and come to school for the first time. I use my knowledge of each child’s unique personality and needs to decide how to best teach them.
“Some children do very well working one on one, so I sit side by side with them and provide scaffolding as we talk through concepts, whether it’s creating a pattern, engaging in dramatic play, designing and building a structure, or painting a picture. I provide freedom for other students to work independently or in groups and converse and work together. Although we follow a daily schedule, accommodations are always made for children who need a different option during any point in the day.”
When students are in her class, Lamb strives to make sure they learn to value themselves, value others, and value learning.
“Since my students are so young, my classroom may be their first chance to build a relationship with an adult outside of their family,” Lamb said. “I hope to communicate to them that they are loved and capable. My classroom environment and daily schedule are set up to allow freedom and exploration, which I hope will teach my students to problem solve, think critically, and follow their creative thoughts. I also hope that my students will learn the social skills necessary to develop healthy relationships and succeed in both school and life. I want them to learn empathy and respect for others, which is something we work on daily as we work together to solve problems in our classroom.”
Lamb started teaching at Union in 2013 only a few months after graduating college. “Not being from Tulsa, I knew of Union’s great reputation but had to do research before realizing the reasons it was a great fit for me,” Lamb said. “I chose to teach at Union in great part because of their commitment to developmentally appropriate and high quality early childhood experiences and their community schools philosophy. I have not seen another district do a better job of providing wrap around services to families who need them. Another reason I have chosen to teach at Union Public Schools is the district leadership. I feel that Union views children as the most central priority from the top down.”
Lamb said she plans to continue developing as a professional, supporting students and families, and advocating for the importance of high quality public education.
Lamb has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, a minor in psychology, and an emphasis in TESOL from John Brown University.