February 2022 Winner - Katie Horn:(Oakland Heights Elementary)


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Meridian Star Article

Katie Horn's classroom is not a quiet place, and it isn't intended to be.

Oakland Heights teacher Katie Horn, the February 2022 Golden Apple winner, helps a student complete an assignment.

Horn said the 20 years she's spent teaching have taught her the best way for students to learn is "good noise."

"My classroom is different," said Horn, who teaches third grade at Oakland Heights Elementary. "It's not going to be a quiet place. I like for my students to discuss and hear conversations. That's when I know they're learning."

In some classrooms, Horn said, students are told to be quiet and listen, but in hers, students are encouraged to speak up.

Using group discussions, she said, students learn not only from her but also from their fellow students.

Horn keeps an eye on her students as they work.

"I like for them to talk and engage in conversation because I know they are learning what we have taught," she said.

Horn, who was chosen as the February 2022 Golden Apple Teacher, is in her first year at Oakland Heights Elementary after more than 20 years in the Lauderdale County School District.

Throughout her career, she said the technology has changed and the methods of teaching have adapted. Now, she said, technology is incorporated into every lesson.

"I think it's important that I include all sorts of technology in the classroom," she said. "And, the students love it."

Katie Horn calls on a student to answer a question during a lesson Oakland Heights Elementary School.

The one thing that hasn't changed, however, is Horn's mission. At the end of the day, she said, she wants her students to remember to believe in themselves as much as she believes in them.

"I want them to remember that I helped them believe in themselves," she said. "That I helped them overcome struggles and battles. Whether it's emotional battles, learning battles I want them to remember me as helping them to believe in themselves, and no matter what never give up on themselves."

Being named the Golden Apple Teacher of the Month is an honor, Horn said, and it represents the efforts of a team of educators. Teaching doesn't happen in a vacuum, she said, and the award reflects on the dedication of the entire Oakland Heights staff to give children the best education possible.

"This doesn't represent just me. This represents all the hardworking educators at Meridian Public Schools and especially here at Oakland Heights," she said. "We are a team."