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TEACHER OF THE WEEK: Dial comes home to teach in Selma

Shelby Dial is in her second-year teaching at Payne Elementary School, and it’s just her third year in her career as a teacher.

The 25-year old first-grade teacher teaches reading, math, science and social studies to the eager minds that fill her classroom.

“I love teaching in Selma, because I like the kids that I’m working with,” she said.

Dial is a Selma native who came back to teach in her hometown after college. She is an alumna of Meadowview Christian School and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of West Alabama in Dec. 2014. She spent half a year at her alma mater Meadowview Christian, and she ended up winning the “Teacher of the Year” award.

“That was a really important moment to me, because it was my first year, and I didn’t feel like I was making that much of a difference,” she said. “My students thought that I was, so that made me feel pretty good about myself.”

Dial went on to begin her first full year of teaching at Valley Grande Elementary before she moved to Payne.

Dial herself, was inspired to become a teacher by her third-grade teacher Mrs. Mott.

“She made every student feel important and special, and so that’s what I always try to do,” Dial said.

Dial tries to encourage her students and make them feel special every day. She treats them the way she remembers wanting to be treated when she was a young student.

“I feel like I have a good relationship with my students,” Dial said. “When they come in in the morning, I try to give them a hug, give them a high five and tell them good morning.”

According to Dial, there are more challenges in keeping the student’s attention nowadays with so much technology readily available.

In order to counter the potential distractions of technology, Dial has found a way to incorporate technology into her classroom to help her students pay attention.

She uses an app called Class Dojo that the kids can see on the class smartboard. Her students are on a point system based on their behavior in class, and they can see their status on the board.

When she assigns or deducts points, the child’s name pops up on the screen. Her classroom is very conscious of how they’re behaving, because they can see the results.

In addition to the behavior tracking, Dial also has her students interact with the smartboard as well.

They play games and even dance along to Youtube videos, according to Dial.