Druid City Living’s Teacher of the Month: Sheila Hallman, American Christian Academy
When students enter Sheila Hallman’s classroom, it doesn’t take long for them to feel at home. As a third-grade teacher at American Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, Ms. Hallman stresses that her class is more than just that – it’s a family.
Hallman credits her own family for helping her become the teacher she is today. From prepping for lessons to building a loft or covered wagon for her classroom, her family has been a constant support system in her career.
“Students need to feel a sense of belonging and security,” Hallman said. “Once the teacher has conveyed that, the students will be ready to learn.”
Hallman began teaching at ACA three years ago, after retiring from the Tuscaloosa County School System – where she taught for 32 years. She says she loves that the family atmosphere at ACA mirrors the atmosphere she aims to create in her own classroom.
Like most great teachers, Hallman knows the power of occasionally straying from a traditional lesson. Whether its incorporating music, or through peer teaching, her classroom is never short on quality learning or laughter. Nevertheless, Hallman knows what happens in the classroom isn’t the only thing that matters.
“I love to continue that school/home connection in my class by going to some of the activities my students participate in,” Hallman said. “When they see you at their sports events, etc. they realize you care about them as a person, and they’re not just filling a seat in your class.”
Hallman isn't just one of this area’s excellent teachers, she is also a life-long member of the Tuscaloosa community. She graduated from a local high school before earning her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from The University of Alabama.
Hallman’s lengthy career and commitment to Tuscaloosa, and Tuscaloosa County, has given her exciting opportunities, such as teaching the children of enthusiastic former students, or working alongside new teachers she taught in the past. Without a doubt, Hallman continues to inspire the next generation of Tuscaloosa teachers in her classroom every day.
“Probably the most important thing I hope my students have learned from me is to always work hard, do their best, and be a good influence on others,” said Hallman. “Always do the right thing – even when no one is watching!”