Golden Apple Winner April Latham keeps kids learning through questions

Reported by: Joe Legge
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Updated: 8/13/2012 4:53 pm
Ashley Latham lives out her dream everyday. "My mom loves to share the story of when she came into my playroom and I had 16 stuffed animals in a circle an I was reading to them. That's just something I always knew I was going to do, was to go into education."

Latham loved the energy and passion her teachers displayed.

Now in her 5th year working in a real classroom, her positive, tireless attitude keeps students interested in subjects they might shy away from. Student Aurelia Baldwin says "she helps me to read a lot, she pulls us up to her table and helps us to read." Student William Nelson says "I just like to do math problems and like to learn all the signs and the answers."

Latham teaches through inquiry. "So what is Dad going to have to do now?" she asks students reading a story about a sticky mess.

She asks students lots of questions, and solicits requests for things to cover within daily lessons. "And so they're forming their questions now, what do you want to know about our government about the voting process. And then we teach through that and since it something they want to know I can start the lesson with hey Grace, you asked me this question, this lesson is going to answer your question," says Latham.

Latham teaches Tom Carrin's daughter. He volunteers at the school and says he and others pitch in because they see how hard Latham works. "On the days that my daughter is sick, she's sad because she's not going to school. They want to come to her class," says Carrin.

The extra help reinforces the idea Latham teaches of community. "You're here this is your classroom, and so now they're getting on board with ok I can correct the student sitting next to me I don't always have to tell my teacher or wait for my teacher to say something," says Latham.

She wants them to know they're part of a team, something bigger than themselves.
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