Kristin Fillmore named October Teacher of the Month

Published 9:53 pm Thursday, November 4, 2021

Kristin Fillmore has been selected at the Piggly Wiggly’s October Teacher of the Month.

Fillmore, who teaches second grade, is a third year teacher at TES. Fillmore is a native of Flomaton and a 2015 graduate of Flomaton High School. She attended Coastal Alabama Community College for two years and then transferred to Troy University where she majored in education.

She said her elementary school principal, Hugh White, at Pollard-McCall Junior High School in Brewton, influenced her decision to go into teaching.

“He was on the front steps of the school every morning and greeted the kids by name,” Fillmore said. “He would greet the kids in the hall by name. He was really involved in the school and had a passion for the school. He was a big role model for me and he was the reason I became a teacher.”

Fillmore said she was originally supposed to do an internship in 2019, but an opportunity arose when there was  a vacancy for a second grade teacher. She said she applied for the job, interviewed and was hired on for the 2019 academic year, after which she was hired as a full-time teacher at Troy Elementary School.

Fillmore said she had observed second grade classrooms as a college student, and knew second grade was where she wanted to teach.

“They’re at the age where they are independent enough to be themselves, but still love being in school,” Fillmore said. “I enjoy the relationships I build with the students. They have so much love to give and they want to be loved.”

Fillmore said here initial year was a learning experience for her and the coronavirus pandemic also created some unique challenges.

“It was the first time I had a classroom of my own,” she said. “For the first few months, I was getting my feet wet. Then, in March of 2020, we were out of school because of the pandemic. In 2020, we had a lot of virtual class. It was nice for the first few days, but I really missed being in the classroom with the kids.”

Fillmore said she was excited to get back into the classroom this fall because the kids would be returning to the classroom as well.

“We do a lot of hands-on learning,” Fillmore said. “We try to make everything hands-on. Kids pick up skills a lot faster with hands-on learning, especially in math. We use a lot of manipulatives because kids get a better sense of numbers through manipulatives. That helps them have a better understanding of numbers when they learn multiplication and division.”

Fillmore said she’s happy to be back in the classroom and is looking forward to the remainder of the year.

“The pandemic was hard for the children the first year because they didn’t understand what was going on,” Fillmore said. “It was a little easier the second year because they had learned the routine. It’s a little easier on them now because we have the mask mandate dropped and they can play and learn together.”