“For the past two years, I hosted a rock club for interested first graders,” shared this month’s Teacher of the Month, Mrs. Paige Ellis. “The ‘Rock On! Club’ introduced basic geology through hands-on activities. The children grew crystal letters, mined for edible gems, and more! Best of all, the children built community with their peers!”
Mrs. Ellis is a first-grade teacher at Belforest Elementary in Daphne, Alabama. This will be her sixth year teaching first graders in Baldwin County. Prior to that, she taught Pre-K at Country Day School for six years.
Mrs. Ellis’s passion for pouring into the next generation is apparent in all she does. She shares that she is able to keep her students motivated and excited to learn by creating engaging lessons with lots of love and laughter!
“To combat the predictable and sometimes mundane daily routines, my grade level team makes it a priority to incorporate fun activities when planning lessons,” she said. “Classroom transformations are our favorite! When introducing book genres, my classroom is transformed into the Sideline Café! On the menu are fiction, nonfiction, fantasy and more!”
Mrs. Ellis shared that she fought becoming a teacher for a very long time. “Before college, I had considered optometry. Seemed perfect until I began taking college math courses. It was not for me!”
Despite family and mentors encouraging her to pursue education, Mrs. Ellis toyed with business administration instead. After deciding against that, she took time off school to get married to her husband Darrin, have children, and stay home with her two boys, Jack and Sam.
“It was during those years at home with my boys that I realized what others had seen all along…I was an educator. The countless hours working with Jack and Sam on reading, writing, exploring, building, playing, cooking…really seeing them grow academically and socially was fulfilling,” she shared. “I then chose to return to school and pursue a degree in elementary education. I can’t imagine doing anything else! I don’t regret not pursuing education earlier. If I had listened to my family, I would not have had the time with my boys.”
Mrs. Ellis shares that relationships are something she values very much. They have played a huge part in her pursuing education, they are vital in her career now with colleagues and, most importantly, with her students. She shared her personal mission statement in hopes it would encourage other teachers in their careers: Be Present (in the moment). Be Prepared. Be Positive. Be Honest.
Paige has been married to Darrin for 29 years. He was her sister’s best friend and her high school sweetheart. They have two sons: Jack (24) attends UAB and Sam (20) attends Auburn. They enjoy football, beach activities and supporting Camp McDowell.